MANILA, Philippines – Jeo “Santino” Santisima punched his way back to world title contention with a fifth-round demolition of home bet Hiroshige Osawa at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan, on Sunday, August 14.
Showing fearsome power, Santisima also decked the Japanese with a body shot in the second round before finishing him off with a barrage of hooks at the 1:05 mark of the deciding round.
The 26-year-old Santisima rebounded from his stoppage loss to American Joet Gonzales in their battle for the World Boxing Organization international featherweight belt in Fresno, California, in March and is likely to reenter the top 10 rankings again.
Santisima, a pride of Masbate, improved his record to 22-4 with 19 knockouts, while pulling down Osawa to 37-6 with 21 knockouts.
Santisima is managed and handled by ZIP and Sanman Stable, which have partnered in staging international fights for promising Filipino warriors.
Nobuyuki Matsuura and Marivic Kamiyama represent ZIP while Jim Claude Manangquil heads Sanman Boxing.
“He (Santisima) will train back in Cebu with coach Michael Domingo,” Manangquil said in a text message. “We will probably arrange a return fight for him in the United States or a title fight in Japan.”
Santisima challenged, but lost to Emanuel Navarette for the WBO super bantamweight crown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in February 2022.
But with the way he dominated Osawa, it seems Santisima is ready for another title crack.
“I fought on the enemy’s turf and it was not wise to let the judges decide the fight. The game plan was really to finish the fight within the distance. Coach Michael Domingo had a great game plan and I executed it well,” said Santisima.
“Props to Osawa for a great fight. I am very grateful to ZIP-Sanman for this opportunity and dedicate this win to my countrymen.”
The first knockdown occurred when Santisima caught Osawa with a solid left hook at the 2:37 mark, although the Japanese was able to beat the count and fight back. – Rappler.com