On Friday night, February 20, 2015, 23 year-old, undefeated Super Lightweight, southpaw Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (15-0, 8 KOs) of San Diego, one of Thompson Boxing Promotions most promising prospects, will headline their latest show “Path to Glory” at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA.
Santillan is scheduled to face Eduardo “Lobito” Rivera (9-1-2, 3 KOs) of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico in this 8-round main event. At today’s weigh-ins for tomorrow night’s eight rounder, Santillan weighed in at 139.7 pounds while Rivera weighed 140.
Pierre Kacsinta, Thompson Boxing’s Director of Public Relations passed along this recent one on one interview that he had with Santillan. Be advised there’s none of the usual profanity or boasting that we hear from the clown princes of the sport – no flashing of money, no bling, no talk about getting in and out of an expensive limousine. In this day and age of super hype, Santillan is a refreshing change for what has become the norm. How so? Simply put, Santillan is serious about the sport and does all his talking in the ring.
Pierre Kacsinta of Thompson Boxing: “Eduardo Rivera, the man opposite you in the main event, what do you know about him?”
Giovani Santillan: “I saw some video of his last fight. He’s a good fighter, but it’s not anything that I haven’t seen or experienced before. We do a good job of sparring with a lot of different styles in San Diego and Los Angeles so I’m always ready for anything.”
What can fans and ringside media expect from you on Friday night?
I plan to show everyone why I’m in the main event of “Path to Glory.” I’m going to take control of the ring and let him know who I am. I’m not going to wait. I’m going right at him from the start and give the fans what they want.
This marks your third time headlining a Thompson Boxing card. Are you getting used to it, being the main attraction?
We’re getting really comfortable being featured as the main event, but every fight on every fight card is important because everyone is fighting to get to this point.
Last year you won four fights, fought better competition, and captured a vacant regional title. Talk about how you grew as a boxer.
It was an excellent year for me. The biggest growth came by just experiencing high level competition in an eight round format. All four fights were scheduled for eight rounds, which just being in that element made me a stronger boxer. It prepared me for the next phase in my development. Overall I got better from the year before which is what we’re always trying to do. Always trying to get better.
And without a doubt, the icing on the cake was winning the NABF Junior title in San Diego, in front of my hometown fans. I’ll never forget that moment.
After taking long strides in 2014, what are the goals for this year?
We’ve talked about making the jump to 10 round fights this year. With the step up in rounds, also comes a step up in competition. Once we know we’re ready to take that next step, we’ll do it.
How do you spend your “off months” when you don’t have a fight secured?
We never really stop training. I mean we dial it down a little bit, but we’re always in the gym and we stay focused on getting better. When I have time off, it’s not about relaxing. You look at all the greats in this sport, or any sport for that matter- it could be soccer, basketball, golf, whatever. The truly great ones use the free time they have to get better and make improvements. That’s what I do. I make improvements and work toward getting better during my time off.
You’ve taken the term gym rat to a new level. Not only are you constantly in the gym working on your game, but you also work as a boxing instructor at three different San Diego gyms.
I love the sport. It really is just another way to stay connected to it. I teach what I know. I don’t pretend to know everything, but I do try to stress technique and fundamentals. For the kids, ages 7-15, you have to make it fun for them. It’s a great place for them to be as opposed to being unsupervised and getting into trouble. For the 18 plus classes, it’s more about going through the cardio that’s involved in boxing. The older group uses boxing for the cardiovascular benefits.”
And what have we learned about his opponent on Friday, Eduardo Rivera, who hails from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Over the past two years he’s only fought twice – a lackluster draw on December 5, 2014 against Gilberto Sabu Delgado (2-0-2, 1 KO) and a first round TKO loss to Kevin Hoskins of Moreno Valley, CA (7-3-0, 5 KOs) right here at San Diego’s Four Points By Sheraton Hotel on February 21, 2013. Against Hoskins he only lasted 74 seconds.
Below is the video of Rivera’s last fight against Gilberto Sabu Delgado of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico which was fought at El Cobertiso, Cocordia, Sinaloa, Mexico back on December 6, 2014.
The remainder of the fight card has 29 year-old super welterweight Taras Shelestyuk (10-0-0, 7 KOs) of Los Angeles, CA by way of Makeyevka, Ukraine (147.6 lbs.) going up against Francisco Reza (146.9 lbs.) in a scheduled eight rounder.Then, it’s 23 year-old super bantamweight southpaw Isaac Zarate (9-1-1, 1 KO, weight 122 lbs.), now residing in San Pedro, CA, facing 26 year-old Pedro Melo (10-7-2, 3 KOs, weight 121 lbs.) from Tijuana, B. C., Mexico in an 8-rounder.Next, they have 29 year-old, lightweight Cesar Villarraga (5-0-0, 3 KOs, 134.4 lbs.) from Bogota, Columbia going up against super lightweight Jesus Angulo (3-6-0, 2 KOs, 140 lbs.) from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico in a six-rounder.Then, 19 year-old light flyweight Javier Lapizco (7-0-0, 2 KOs, 112.9 lbs.) of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico going up against 25 year-old Gilberto Mendoza (4-4-0, 1 KO, 113 lbs.) of Modesto, CA, by way of Mexicali, B. C., Mexico in a six-rounder. And finally 34 year-old heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (5-0-0, 5 KOs, 249 lbs.) of San Francisco, CA taking on 36 year-old Chad “Bad” Davis (5-12-0, 1 KO, 229 lbs.) from Phoenix, Arizona in a four rounder.
Video below was taken at the “Path to Glory” weigh-ins of Thursday, February 20, 2015
On Friday, doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the first bell will ring at 7:45 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N Vineyard Ave, Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at (909) 937-0900.
“Path to Glory” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil in association with LATV Networks. Tickets for the show are priced at $40, $60 and $100 and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900 or online at www.ThompsonBoxing.com.