MANILA, Philippines – Given minimal chances, Jeo Santisima aims to shock the world when he challenges Emanuel Navarrete for the World Boxing Organization junior featherweight crown on Saturday, February 22 (Sunday, February 23, Philippine time) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Filipino prospect will enter the ring a massive 50-1 underdog in the 12-rounder serving as chief support to the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury grudge rematch for the World Boxing Council heavyweight title.
Though Santisima has won 17 straight after a so-so 2-2 start as a pro, most fight experts believe he’s not in the league of Navarrete, who has beaten his last 25 opponents for a 30-1 record, 26 by knockout. (READ: Santisima tries to do a Pacquiao in world title drive vs Navarrete)
Regarded as one of the best and the busiest fighter of this era, Navarrete will be making his fifth title defense in 9 months, stopping the 4 earlier contenders.
No wonder, Navarrete is boasting he’ll be the first to knock Santisima out, unify the division crowns, and become a global star.
Santisima, who has been decked once by Marco Demecillo but got up to prevail via stoppage in 2016, shrugged off Navarrete’s threat, saying he doesn’t feel any pressure fighting the Mexican Iron Man on his United States debut.
Knowing Navarrete is a volume puncher and enjoys a two-inch reach advantage, Santisima doesn’t intend to get cornered.
The pride of Aroroy, Masbate, however, is willing to trade heavy blows with Navarrete, who seems to be vulnerable to solid body hits. After all, Santisima is also a heavy hitter with 16 knockouts to show.
Both Santisima and Navarrete were right on the dot at 122 pounds during the official weigh-in on Friday.
Manning Santisima’s corner will be ALA boxing stable head trainer Edito Villamor, trainer Michael Domingo and cutman Dr Ed de la Vega. – Rappler.com