Giovanni Santillan Keeps NABO Welterweight Title in Ontario

Giovanni Santillan Keeps NABO Welterweight Title in Ontario, Calif.

ONTARIO, Calif.-NABO welterweight titlist Giovanni Santillan knew nothing about Ghana’s Dodzi Kemeh but knew enough to retain his newly won title by stoppage on Friday.

Santillan (23-0, 13 KOs) won every round and looked in complete control in front of more than 800 fans at the Doubletree Hotel. The visiting challenger Kemeh (19-2, 17 KOs) had not won a round when the fight was stopped on the Thompson Boxing Promotions card.

San Diego’s Santillan, 25, was able to maneuver at will and fire combinations while rarely receiving return fire. In the second round a left cross from the southpaw staggered the muscular fighter from Ghana but he continued on.

In the third round Santillan kept up his combination punching and was able to hit and pivot out of range. Kemeh began closing the distance slowly but rarely connected against the Southern California fighter.

When Kemeh attempted to put the pressure on he was met with some solid combinations that struck solidly from Santillan. At the end of the fourth round the Ghanian boxer walked to the wrong corner and looked puzzled before he was led back to his own corner.

The referee brought in the ringside physician after the fourth round who looked at the fighter carefully and advised referee Raul Caiz Sr. to stop the contest due to an irregularity in Kemeh’s eyes. The stoppage gave Santillan the win by knockout.  The boxer from Ghana was visibly upset.

It was Santillan’s first defense of the NABO title he won by knockout this past July in Florida.

Other Bouts

A featherweight clash saw Erick Ituarte (19-1-1, 3 KOs) score only his third knockout win in 21 pro fights when he trapped Gustavo Molina (25-17) in a corner and forced the referee to stop the fight at 2:52 of the first round. It had been three years since the Santa Ana fighter’s last knockout win.

Mexico’s Abraham Cordero (13-3-2, 7 KOs) saw his announced win changed to a majority draw after cards were accidentally tallied wrong in his fight against Indio’s Manuel Mendez (15-2-3, 11 KOs). The correction was made after Cordero exited the boxing ring. But the fight itself saw Cordero’s southpaw style prove perplexing to Mendez who was never able to mount a consistent attack in the super lightweight match. The scores after eight rounds were 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Cordero, thus a majority draw.

Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (4-0) bulled his way to a win by knockout over Mexico’s David Martino (4-4) who was trapped in a corner and could not escape. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 2:40 of the second round of the bantamweight fight.

Ruben Torres (3-0, 3 KOs) blasted out the smaller and lighter Alejandro Zepeda (0-3) in 42 seconds of the first round in their super featherweight fight. A 20-punch barrage by South Central L.A.’s Torres left Zepeda helpless.

A battle between talented young bantamweights saw Riverside’s Jonah Flores (2-0) out-point Guerrero, Mexico’s Ivan Martino (1-1) in a four round contest. Flores had better defense and a better jab in beating a quick and aggressive Martino. No knockdowns in the fight that ended in all three judges scoring the entertaining fight 40-36 on all cards.

A four year lay-off was shaken off by Luis Zarazua (7-0-1, 4 KOs) of Edinburgh, Texas who floored Tijuana’s Luis Silva (4-12) with body shots twice in the first round to win by knockout. It was his first win since 2013. A left hook to the belt line of Silva sent him to the floor early in the first round. Another left veered too low and referee Raul Caiz Sr. warned of the infraction. The fight proceeded when Zarazua connected with a right to the head, left to the body and right to the head to send Silva down again. The fight was immediately waved off at 2:43 of the first round.

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