Giovani Santillan with something to prove ahead of Friday return

Ringside 15/11/2017

Carlos Baeza

Giovani Santillan (22-0, 12 KOs), the No. 7 rated welterweight by the WBO, is out to prove he belongs among the best when he meets once-beaten Dodzi Kemeh (13-1, 12 KOs) this Friday, Nov. 17, in Thompson Boxing’s “New Blood” main event.

Santillan will defend his NABO championship for the first time via the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. (10-rounds).

Santillan is looking to build additional momentum from his second round knockout win of previous NABO title holder Sammy Valentin in July. The San Diego southpaw used an aggressive attack that earned him the belt and subsequent title defense set for Friday.

“As of now, Valentin is the most skilled fighter that I’ve fought,” Santillan said. “I didn’t let him shine or show anything. I tagged him pretty good in the first round so I knew I was going to stop him.”

For his fight against Kemeh, Santillan plans to use the same approach that has led to an undefeated mark and world title contender status.

“Go out there and control the fight right from the beginning,” said Santillan, who has also won a title in the junior welterweight division. “Try to land more body shots and throw more combinations. I can’t get comfortable with just one punch.”

As far as breaking into the world rankings for the first time, the 25-year-old understands he’s no longer a prospect with the potential of big fights looming ahead.

“It’s a big responsibility to be ranked where I am,” Santillan said. “All future performances need to be memorable. I don’t have to get knockout wins every time, but I do need to make sure to show all my skills.”

Tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or visiting ThompsonBoxing.com.