|Real name||Mario Santiago Figueroa|
|Nickname(s)||El Principe Ponceño|
July 13, 1978 |
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Wins by KO||13|
Mario Santiago Figueroa (born July 13, 1978) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer. Santiago debuted as a professional in 2000, and is the current World Boxing Council Caribbean Featherweight Champion.
Began boxing when he was seven years old, in his hometown of Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was trained by his late uncle Edwin and his father Mario Santiago Sr. who were both boxers.
Mario did not enter an amateur tournament until he was 15 yrs old. His first fight was for the Puerto Rico Southern Region Amateur Title which he won. He caught the eye of the Puerto Rico National Team Trainers and seven fights later he was fighting abroad with the National team at the age of 16. Mario went on to represent Puerto Rico in many amateur Tournaments including the 1999 Pan-Am games in Canada where he lost a close decision for the Bronze Medal. Mario competed on the 2000 Olympic Trials but did not qualify and opted to turn pro in 2000. Mario finished his amateur career with an impressive 52-3 record.
Santiago debuted as a professional in 2000 under the direction of Felix Trinidad Sr. and Cesar Seda. He was part of the Trinidad Stable which at the time included former World Champions Félix Trinidad, Nelson Dieppa, Alex Sanchez, and title contenders Fres Oquendo, Carlos Quintana and Daniel Seda. Mario was signed by Don King Productions until Felix Trinidad retired in 2002. He was released and was left with no management. During this time Mario moved to Pennsylvania to look for a second opportunity in boxing, there he trained with Barry Strumph and Syd Brumbach, in 2004 he signed with Gary Shaw Productions where his career blossomed fighting 7 times in 2004.
In 2005 Hector Santiago and Evangelista Cotto, uncle and trainer of World Champion Miguel Cotto, obtained Mario’s management rights, Mario went back to his Amateur trainer Jose “Pancha” Aneiro and was back in the ring on October 8, 2005 scoring a 3rd round KO and 2 weeks later he was the Shobox co-feature bout against the IBF #15 ranked featherweight contender Cornelius “Master” Lock at the Chumash Casino in California. This was Mario’s most important fight of his career and one that got him recognition with the media and the fans. Since his 2005 comeback Mario has defeated his last 7 opponents by Knockout. Santiago's next scheduled match was against Daniel Attah in a fight that took place on March 10, 2007 in Ponce. Santiago won the fight by technical knockout in the ninth round. Santiago lost his first fight on July 28, 2007, in a fight against Héctor Velázquez. He remained inactive until February 1, 2008, when he was scheduled to fight Edel Ruiz whom he defeated by knockout in the first round.
Steven Luevano's victory against Antonio Davis and Terdsak Jandaeng was tested in his 3rd defense on June 28, 2008 night's David Diaz-Manny Pacquiao undercard at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Luevano retained his 126-pound belt via split draw with Mario Santiago. Judge Harry Davis scored it 117-111 for Luevano, Duane Ford had it 115-113 for Santiago and Dave Moretti had it 114-114. ESPN.com also had it 114-114. Luevano landed 215 of 641 punches (34%) while Santiago connected on 214 of 835 (26%).
Mario is married to Caroline Santiago and has two daughters Carimar who is eight years old and Yarieli who is four years old. In his spare time Mario spends his time at the Church where he is part of the church band playing the timbales, he loves Salsa music and spending time with his family.
|Caribbean Boxing Federation Featherweight Title
August 19, 2006–present
- Carlos González (2008-02-01). "En peso y listos para soltar golpes". Primera Hora. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- espn.go.com, Luevano retains crown with split draw; DQ costs Soto
- secondsout.com, Luevano Held To Draw/Soto Shock/Barrett Win