ORANGE, Calif. – In what was billed as his toughest fight to date, Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (22-0, 12 KOs) stormed through “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin (12-1, 9 KOs) by second round knockout on Friday night from A La Carte Pavilion in Valentin’s hometown city of Tampa, Fla.
Santillan, who came in unranked while Valentin sat at No. 9 by the WBO, captured the NABO Welterweight Championship with an emphatic performance that will elevate his stature in the highly competitive welterweight division.
“We came here to take Valentin’s championship and we did just that,” said Santillan, who lives in San Diego but conducts most of his sparring in boxing rich Los Angeles. “It’s on to bigger fights now.”
“Santillan looked impressive and he definitely shed the prospect tag,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He didn’t waste anytime in making a statement. He’s about to enter his prime and we are thrilled with his progress.”
The championship bout was presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr. All Star Boxing, Inc., in association with Thompson Boxing, and was televised by the Telemundo Network.