By Damon Gonzalez
Photos: Scott Foster
In a clash of unbeaten welterweights, Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (22-0, 12 KOs) scored an explosive second round TKO over hometown hero “Hurricane” Sammy Valentin (12-1, 9 KOs) on Friday night at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida.
Santillan exploded on Valentin in round two, dropping him twice and getting the stoppage with his follow-up barrage at 2:11 of round two. Santillan claimed Valentin’s NABO title with the win. Valentin entered the bout rated #9 in world by the WBO.
“We came here to take Valentin’s championship and we did just that,” said Santillan, who lives in San Diego but conducts most of his sparring in boxing rich Los Angeles. “It’s on to bigger fights now.”
“Santillan looked impressive and he definitely shed the prospect tag,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He didn’t waste any time in making a statement. He’s about to enter his prime and we are thrilled with his progress.”
The championship bout was presented by Tuto Zabala’s Jr. All Star Boxing, Inc., in association with Thompson Boxing, and was televised by the Telemundo Network.
In the co-feature, 2016 Honduran Olympian lightweight Teofimo Lopez (6-0, 5 KOs) went the distance for the first time, defeating Christian “El Inocente” Santibanez (5-7, 3 KOs) by six round unanimous decision. Scores were 60-54 across the board.
2016 U.S. Olympian bantamweight Antonio Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) went the distance for the first time, topping Leonardo “El Killer” Reyes (7-14, 3 KOs) over six. Scores were 60-54, 60-54, 60-54.
Debuting welterweight Ramon “Monchis” De La Paz outpointed McKinley “Manny Macho” Smith 146 (0-2) over four by scores of 40-36, 40-36, 40-36.