Giovanni Santillan faces tough test against Sammy Valentin

Thompson 04/07/2017

Unbeaten welterweight Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0, 11 KOs) is preparing feverishly for what will likely be the biggest fight of his young career.

Santillan challenges NABO welterweight champion and highly ranked “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin (12-0, 9 KOs) on Friday, July 7, from A La Carte Pavilion in Valentin’s home city of Tampa, Fla.

The 10-round fight is presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr. All Star Boxing, Inc., in association with Thompson Boxing, and will be televised live at 11:35 p.m. by the Telemundo Network.

The title fight pits two, young, undefeated welterweights with world championship aspirations. Valentin is currently ranked No. 9 by the WBO, while Santillan is projected to crack the rankings with a win next Friday night.

Santillan recently held a media workout at Capetillo Boxing Academy in Los Angeles. Below are interview highlights.

On his opponent Sammy Valentin…

“He’s an aggressive fighter. He likes to come forward a lot. You don’t get as many knockout wins as he has by being passive. But I took a look at his record and he hasn’t faced the level of talent that I have so he’s going to be in for a tough fight.”

On his first 10-round fight…

“I’ve gone the distance during a few of my 8-round fights so I know what to expect from another two rounds. We added extra rounds in our sparring so I’ll be well prepared to go the distance if I have to.”

On fighting for the NABO welterweight championship…

“It’s more motivation for me and my team. This is a huge step for us moving forward. It could lead to bigger paydays and more TV exposure. This is a fight we need to win.

On Sammy Valentin having home field advantage…

“It doesn’t bother me at all. The ring could be in another county for all I care. At the end of the day, when the bell rings, it’s just he and I. The fans, the hometown crowd, can’t win the fight for him.”

On moving up to 147 lbs…

“It feels natural to move up from junior welterweight. I think I had outgrown that division and now I’m ready to compete at welterweight.”

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