NABO welterweight champion “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin (12-0, 9 KOs) faces challenger Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0, 11 KOs) tonight. The 10 round main event will be the season opener of “Boxeo Telemundo Ford” Summer edition. The bout will take place in the back yard of Valentin at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida.
Valentin is the local fan favorite but the fight is being seen as a pick ’em in the eyes of many observers. The winner will set himself apart from the other and Valentin is confident that will be him.
How has your training been for what is your biggest test to date as a professional?
It’s been as intense and versatile as ever. A lot of new things we’ve worked on, so much progression.
How has your notoriety been locally for you since your last big win on Telemundo where you won your first pro title?
I’ve blown up even more here at home. God is good!
What do you know about your opponent?
He’s a southpaw from San Diego and undefeated at 21-0. He looks experienced, but no true tests yet. He seems strong, but not explosive. Not that much footwork, but can be a little slick at times. Not much but at some moments is deceptively quick which I think has to do with his timing. He leaves himself open a lot when he unloads and gets hit by unnecessary punches.
What are your thoughts regarding your opponent having nearly twice as many professional fights as yourself?
Doesn’t worry me or faze me, I feel confident in my progression and my conditioning.
What advantages do you see for yourself heading into this fight?
I definitely feel like I have more footwork, more explosive power, and more speed.
Has it been a distraction at home this time in preparation for such a big fight?
No not at all. Yet I find myself battling things before a fight. Hard to explain, but personal challenges, spiritual challenges I face before fights. It’s kind of motivation for me to push harder. And yes there will be things that try to distract me. But that’s when I’m in prayer most, and I look to God the most. And I never let it discourage me.
What would a victory do for your career?
It will open some big doors for me I feel, shooting me higher in ranks and eventually a world title fight. No rush, but definitely a goal.
In a special attraction, local female sensation Noemi “La Rebelde” Bosques will face Sonia Osorio in another classic battle between Puerto Rico and Mexico schedule for 6 rounds in the super flyweight division.
5 more fights on the card. Doors open at 7PM, first fight 8:00 PM. The A La Carte Pavilion is located @ 4050 Dana Shore Drive, Tampa, FL. For Information and Tickets call 813-454-7800. Valentin Vs. Santillan is presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc in association with Thompson Boxing and will be televised live at 11:35 PM by the Telemundo Network.