By David A. Avila
It’s war between rival countries in the boxing ring this weekend in Southern California centered on Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes (pictured), several former world champions and tons of prospects on three rival fight cards.
Prospects lead a Friday fight card in Ontario, California at the Doubletree Hotel when super lightweight prospect Giovanni Santillan (19-0) faces Brian Jones (13-6) in the co-main event. It’s San Diego versus L.A.
Santillan fights from a southpaw stance and was a sparring partner for Floyd “Money” Mayweather when he was preparing to fight Manny Pacquiao two years ago. Then, he was asked by Mayweather to spar Adrien Broner.
“I was giving Mayweather some good work and they wanted to see if I could spar Broner too,” Santillan said.
During the last week Mayweather walked up to Santillan and his dad to thank him for his work and praise his contributions.
“I felt really good working with both. It was basically a confidence booster,” Santillan said of sparring with both world champions.
Now Santillan faces Jones in the co-main event of a Thompson Boxing card. The San Diego prizefighter has been under contract with them for a while. The Orange County-based boxing group has a strong reputation for finding hidden nuggets like Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, Josesito Lopez, Yonnhy Perez and many more.
Santillan could be the next.
The San Diego southpaw has speed, technique and a thinks his way through situations. Though he does pack power he knows when to use it and when to pull back. He’s at the cusp of breaking into the upper tier if he can shoot down Jones.
“I saw him (Jones) fight Juan Diaz,” said Santillan. “He’s an experienced fighter and always comes out to win.”
The co-main event features Tijuana’s Carlos Carlson (21-1) facing Alex Rangel (17-5-3) for the vacant NABF bantamweight title.
Carlson has up and down moments. Sometimes he looks like a world beater and other times he looks lucky to have only one loss. But this time he’s fighting for a prestigious title and needs to show up with his A game.
Saturday dueling cards
The StubHub Center hosts a fight card in Carson, California pitting the Philippines versus Mexico on a heavy duty fight card on Saturday.
Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22 KOs), the WBO light flyweight world titlist, moves up in weight to face former WBC light flyweight world titlist Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30 KOs) in a flyweight main event set for 12 rounds and the WBO Inter-Continental title.
Nietes, 34, successfully defended his WBO light flyweight title nine times and has a lot left in the tank although he’s moving up a weight division. It’s a wonder that he never faced Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Before that, Nietes was a minimum weight world champion too.
Speaking of Gonzalez, the Mexican challenger Sosa did get the shot at the Nicaraguan bomber last year but was broken apart by the Pound for Pound fighter. He then fought last February and bounced back with a win in front of his hometown supporters in Mexico City. He’s skillful but at 37 can he hang with Nietes?
BeIn Sports will televise the event that begins at 4 p.m.
Don’t be surprised if Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao appears at the fight card. He’s in Los Angeles.
In the city of El Monte, a very large fight card is scheduled on Saturday at the Los Angeles Badminton Club. It’s ironic because El Monte is about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. So why call it the Los Angeles Badminton Club?
Rico Ramos, 29, the former WBA world super bantamweight champion, fights Prosper Ankrah in the 8-round main event at the spacious sports complex.
In his last fight, Ramos (25-5) was able to win but looked a little rusty. Now he returns to the same venue but this time against Ankrah (24-8) of Ghana. It’s been four years since he held the world title and lost it to Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux. Now living in San Bernardino, can he rekindle the fighting skills that helped him grab the world title by the reins?
The rest of the fight card will feature two major fight camps: Abel Sanchez’s mountain troops from Big Bear and Robert Garcia’s Riverside roughriders. At last look it seems the large fight card has been trimmed down from an original list of 15 bouts. We’ll see. Nonetheless it’s a solid list of fighters.
El Monte is located off the 10-Freeway and the Los Angeles Badminton Club has a good atmosphere to it. Last time James “Lights Out” Toney was among those attending. Who knows? Maybe Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin will appear.