Is Giovanni Santillan the Newest Gem for Thompson Boxing?

SANTILLAN vs TIENDA GOES FRIDAY — It’s one of the biggest secrets in boxing, but Thompson Boxing Promotions has long been uncovering some of the best talent in Southern California.

Will Giovanni Santillan be their next discovered gem?

Santillan (20-0, 11 KOs) a slick-fighting southpaw out of San Diego, faces Mexico’s Omar Tienda (18-3, 11 KOs) in the main event on Friday Feb. 10, at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. It’s not an easy fight.

Tienda lost twice in Southern California and each opponent suffered badly. First, Brazil’s Everton Lopes tasted the canvas twice and hasn’t returned to boxing since though he won the fight by majority decision. In another loss, Carlos Morales engaged with Tienda in one of the bloodiest fights of the year. It was a ghastly affair.

Now here comes southpaw Santillan. Usually when lefties fight righties collision occurs frequently on the inside. Let’s hope not this time.

Santillan, 25, has always proven to be a fighter who rises to the competition. The better the fighter, the better he fights. He utilizes his speed and angles with effective success. It’s the reason he was chosen to spar with Floyd Mayweather a few years ago for the megafight versus Manny Pacquiao.

In his last engagement, Santillan overwhelmed Miguel Mendoza in four whirlwind rounds. That was back in November.

Thompson Promotions matchmaker Alex Camponovo (pictured on the right with Santillan and promoter Ken Thompson) says that injuries and last-minute cancellations have disrupted Santillan’s progress. But there’s no doubt about his talent.

“We have high hopes for him,” said Camponovo who has a history of uncovering hidden talent in Southern California and Colombia. “He does a lot of things in the ring you can’t teach.”

Will Santillan be among the successes that Thompson Boxing has uncovered in the past such as Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley, Josesito Lopez, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, Yonnhy Perez, Darleys Perez, Jhonatan “Momo” Romero and Juan Carlos Burgos?

Raging Fight Factory

Over the past 17 years Thompson Boxing has built a solid fan base that has regularly attended fight cards at the Doubletree Hotel since 2000. One could easily say that because of this boxing has taken root and grown throughout the Inland Empire. Before Thompson Boxing, there were no regular fight cards in the area.

Since 2000, along with the Ontario and Corona fight cards staged by Thompson Boxing, other promoters have followed and staged regular fight cards in Indio, Temecula, and sometimes Pomona.

Before Thompson Boxing arrived there were boxing gyms in the Inland Empire, but once the regular shows got rolling suddenly more and more boxing gyms appeared from Blythe to Pomona. That’s an area of more than 200 miles in range. More than 50 real boxing gyms now exist in the Inland Empire. The area has become a raging fight factory.

Now prizefighters from around the world come to the Inland Empire to prepare, spar and train for megafights. It’s a long list of current elite fighters such as Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Mikey Garcia, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, and Terence Crawford to name a few.

But it all started with Thompson Boxing.

On Friday, Santillan looks to become another one of those newly discovered gems.

“Whatever way the fight plays out, I know I’ll keep my focus. I never lose focus on what we’re trying to do,” said Santillan.

So far what Thompson Boxing does best is to keep discovering new gems.

For more information call (714) 935-0900. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.