Santillan KOs Valentin in Two; Lopez, Vargas Secure Wins

Tampa, Florida- In a battle of undefeated prospects, Giovanni Santillan (22-0, 12 KO), 146 lbs., stopped Sammy Valentin (12-1, 9 KO), 147 lbs., in the second round. The bout started with Valentin doing what he does best: bulldozing forward. Santillan was content to meet him head on, as both landed hard combinations. Santillan changed the momentum of the fight in the second round as a straight left rocked Valentin and sent him tumbling into the ropes. Santillan never let up and Valentin, choosing to return the onslaught with fire of his own, was floored twice. Valentin was able to get up but the damage he incurred was enough to convince the referee to stop the fight in the middle of a one-sided Santillan barrage.

The undercard featured former Olympian Teofimo Lopez’s fifth fight of the year. Lopez (6-0, 5 KO), 136 lbs., Brooklynite who represented Honduras last year in the Rio Olympic games, showed his pedigree and reflexes from the opening bell as he shutout Christian Santibanez (5-7), 135 lbs., for a six round unanimous decision. Santibanez did not come to lay down, he was just outclassed from a technical standpoint but landed the occasional right hand to keep Lopez honest. It still was not enough as Lopez certainly did enough to secure a 60-54 verdict from all three of the judges’ scorecards.

Former 2015 Pan American Games champion and 2016 US Olympian Antonio Vargas, 118 lbs., secured his third win as a professional prize fighter in as many fights as he shutout Leonardo Reyes (7-14, 3 KO), 118 lbs. Vargas displayed his speed, jab, body punching and counter right early to keep Reyes at bay throughout the entire bout. Reyes was able to land occasional overhand rights as Vargas attempted to pull back and counter his attack with a right of his own, but it wasn’t enough to discourage Vargas as he cruised to 60-54 shutout unanimous decision victory.