The summer season of Boxeo Telemundo is officially a go for Friday evening at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida. All boxers made weight for the six-fight card, topped by an intriguing battle of unbeaten welterweight prospects between local favorite Sammy Valentin and California's Giovanni Santillan.
Valentin (12-0, 9KOs) checked in right at the 147-pound limit, while the visiting Santillan weighed 146 pounds for his first career fight away from the U.S. West Coast.
A regional title is at stake for their battle, although with the future holding so much more in store. Main event winners on the long-running hit series have traditionally been fast-tracked to world title shots, although a trend that has taken place more often in the lower weight classes.
Still, Valentin views this matchup not just as the toughest of his career but as an audition for bigger things to come.
"Our team has a timetable in place for when we plan on challenging for a world title," Valentin told FightNights.com. "We are right on track, and this fight with Giovanni Santillan is the next logical step in that quest. We trained hard for this contest, and I'm confident my opponent did the same."
The entirety of Valentin's pro career has taken place in Central Florida, with Friday's bout marking his eight appearance at the A La Carte in his Tampa hometown. His most recent showing at the venue came in the first 2017 U.S.-based edition of Boxeo Telemundo, scoring a 1st round knockout of Jesus Alvarez this past March. He followed up the brief affair with yet another quick ending, knocking out Luis Florez in less than two minutes of their UniMas-aired clash this past April in Kissimmee, Florida.
Santillan (21-0, 11KOs) makes his Telemundo debut in addition to fighting in Florida for the first time in his young career. The 25-year old San Diegan southpaw has fought all but one career bout in his native California, including his most recent ring appearance in outpointing Omar Tienda over eight rounds this past February. The fight will also mark his first scheduled 10-round affair, while just the second such occasion for Valentin.
Also on the show are a pair of former amateur standouts who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Teofimo Lopez (5-0, 5KOs), a native New Yorker of Honduran descent who represented Honduras in the 2016 Olympics, appears for the third time in his adopted home state of Florida. The rangy lightweight prospect—who turns just 20 years younger later in July—will take on Christian Santibanez in a scheduled six-round battle. Lopez weighed 136 lbs, while Santibanez was slightly lighter at 135, as both boxers were within the contracted limit.
Antonio Vargas (2-0, 2KOs) has yet to be extended beyond the opening round in his young pro career. The 20-year old—who represented the United States last summer in Rio—steps up in class as he faces 20-fight veteran Leonardo Reyes. Both boxers weighed in at the 118-pound bantamweight limit for their scheduled six-round contest.
Sammy Valentin 147 Vs. Giovanni "Gallo de Oro" Santillan 146 —10 rounds, welterweight
Teofimo Lopez 136 Vs. Christian Santibanez 135 —6 rounds, lightweight
Antonio Vargas 118 Vs. LeonardoReyes 118 —6 rounds, bantamweight
Noemi Bosques 115 Vs. Sonia Osorio 114 —6 rounds, super flyweight
Ramon De La Paz 149 Vs. McKinley Smith 16 —4 rounds, welterweights
Richard Brown 197 Vs. Jimmy Owensby 196 —4 rounds, cruiserweights