Mario Barrios finally got back on the winning track in his hometown Saturday night.

Barrios beat up Jovanie Santiago for much of their one-sided welterweight fight, which was wisely stopped by Santiago’s handlers during the eighth round at Alamodome in San Antonio. Puerto Rico’s Santiago showed a lot of heart, but the taller, stronger Barrios battered him with right hands and left hooks during a co-feature Showtime televised.

Santiago (14-3-1, 10 KOs) went down from a body shot earlier in the eighth round. After Barrios (27-2, 18 KOs) drilled him with a right hand to his head later in the eighth round, referee Mark Calo-oy stopped their scheduled 10-round welterweight bout because Santiago’s trainer requested it.

The official time of the stoppage was 1:42 of the eighth round.

Barrios, 27, ended a one-year layoff. Prior to defeating Santiago, he hadn’t fought since last February 5, when former WBA/WBC welterweight champ Keith Thurman unanimously out-pointed him in their 12-round welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

The former WBA world super lightweight champion also ended a two-fight losing streak. Gervonta Davis stopped Barrios in the 11th round of his bout before Thurman beat him, which took place in June 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Santiago, 33, fought for the first time since junior welterweight contender Gary Antuanne Russell (16-0, 16 KOs) stopped him after six rounds in May 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. He moved up to the welterweight limit to battle Barrios.

Barrios blasted Santiago with a left hook to his head a little less than 40 seconds into the eighth round. A vicious left hook to the body by Barrios made Santiago drop to his knees with 2:13 to go in the eighth round.

Their fight ended a little less than a minute later.

Santiago tried to hold Barrios in the final minute of the seventh round, when Barrios let his hands go in combination. Barrios staggered Santiago with a right hand 19 seconds into the seventh round.

A left hook by Barrios backed Santiago into the ropes with just under 10 seconds to go in the sixth round. Barrios drilled Santiago with a left hook to the body and followed up with a left hook to the head just before the midway point of the sixth round.

A right hand by Barrios knocked Santiago off balance a little less than 40 seconds into the sixth round. Barrios unloaded a barrage of punches thereafter, but Santiago survived that onslaught.

Barrios’ jab was effective for most of the fifth round, when Santiago struggled to land clean punches.

Calo-oy warned Barrios and Santiago with 30 seconds to go in the fourth round for wrestling and holding. A left hook by Barrios backed up Santiago with just under 10 seconds on the clock in the fourth round.

Barrios blasted Santiago with a straight right hand barely 50 seconds into the third round. Santiago bled from his nose at that point in their fight.

Barrios landed a left to the body and came up top with a left a little less than minute into the second round.

Barrios’ overhand right connected with about five seconds to go in the first round.

A left-right combination by Barrios connected with just under a minute on the clock in the opening round. Barrios’ jab knocked Santiago off balance just after the halfway mark of the first round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.