ONTARIO, CALIF-NABO welterweight titlist Giovani Santillan sent the crowd home early with a body shot knockout of Mexico’s Alejandro Barboza in the second round on Friday.
Before a near sell-out crowd at Doubletree Hotel, San Diego’s Santillan (24-0, 14 KOs) remained undefeated and retained the title for a second time in winning by knockout in his third successive fight.
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Ever since moving up in weight the southpaw Santillan has exhibited newfound power and seems stronger than before. It has to be the added seven pounds. For several years he had been campaigning at 140 pounds and struggling. Not anymore.
Mexico’s Barboza seemed in a complaining mood as soon as the first bell rang as Santillan fired quick right hooks to the head and lefts to the body. Barboza complained of blows behind the head and below the belt. But it seemed he was just not in a mood for getting hit.
Santillan was sharp and not wasting punches. During the entire first round the San Diego lefty seemed to be able to do whatever he pleased.
Barboza was scolded slightly in between rounds by his corner and came out of his defensive shell in the second round. He attempted to mount an offensive attack but was unable to penetrate Santillan’s tight guard and maneuvering. While in pursuit, Barboza was hit with a left cross to the body. It took him two seconds to feel the effect and down he went for good at 2:33 of the second round.
Before going into the fight Santillan was ranked the number five welterweight by the WBO.
Saul Sanchez (8-0, 4 KOs) won by unanimous decision over Florida’s Sam Rodriguez (5-3, 3 KOs). A savage body attack proved the difference in the ultra-competitive bantamweight fight. Sanchez was the taller fighter but both showed speed and pop as each was able to score. But the body attack used by Sanchez in the third and fifth rounds gave him separation and opened up the head for the fighter from Pacoima, California. Sanchez is trained by Antonio Diaz in Indio and is the brother of prospect Emilio Sanchez. After six rounds two judges scored it 59-55 and a third 60-54 for Sanchez.
Miguel Alcantara (5-0) started a little slow but grabbed momentum after the second round to out-work Tijuana’s Jose Naranjo (3-8-2) by decision after a four round bantamweight fight. The scores were 40-37, 39-37, 40-36 for Alcantara of Sylmar, California.
Making his debut under the Thompson Boxing banner George Acosta (5-0) won by second round knockout over Mexico’s Bryan Tovar (0-2) in a lightweight match. During the first round Acosta scored a knockdown of Tovar when the two tripped over each other’s feet and a punch was thrown. But that didn’t matter when Acosta fired a four-punch combination that sent Tovar down for good. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the fight at 1:23 of the second round for a knockout win for Acosta whose nickname is “El Yuyu.”
Speedy Jonah Flores (4-0) was too fast for the very tough Nery Garcia (1-4) of Monterrey, Mexico in the four round bantamweight fight. Though he was caught too many times by counter rights, his combinations were exceptional as he whitewashed Garcia. Flores, also known as the “Mexipino Kid” because of his Filipino and Mexican roots, is trained by Henry Ramirez in Riverside, Calif.
In a middleweight four round fight Corona’s Louie Lopez (2-0) was able to figure out how to fight the much taller Jared Ejigu (0-3) of Pasadena. He simply attacked the body most of the time while fighting mostly inside for all four rounds. Though Ejigu easily had a four inch height advantage, Lopez was the quicker on the draw. All three judges
scored it 40-36 for Lopez.
Photo credit: Carlos Angel
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