Santillan joins Navarrete vs Berinchyk on May 18

Fighting

As revealed last week, three-division champion Emanuel Navarrete will battle undefeated Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBC lightweight title on May 18th at San Diego’s Pechanga Arena.

Navarrete said, “Capturing a world title is a unique challenge, but the possibility of doing it four weight classes is a goal that fills me with motivation and gratitude. It will be an honor to join that select group of Mexican warriors who have made their mark in boxing history. And to be able to do it in front of fans in San Diego and from Tijuana will be an unforgettable experience. Feeling their support and energy in the ring will propel me to do my best and secure this victory for Mexico.”

The majority of the undercard remains unknown, but Top Rank did reveal the return of unbeaten welterweight contender Giovani Santillan (32-0, 17 KO) against TBA.

“After my last win, I’m excited to keep the ball rolling. I showed everyone what I could do and earned the WBO No. 1 ranking. I am looking forward to continuing with those types of performances and showing why I deserve a title shot,” Santillan said. “I want to gain more fans in San Diego, grow the fan base in my hometown, and pave the way for other fighters from my city. There hasn’t been a San Diego-born champion in a long time, and I want to be the next one.”

“Gallo de Oro” spent eight years treading water, had an unexpected amount of difficulty with a past-it Antonio DeMarco in 2020, then went right back to bottom-feeding all through the pandemic. Last July’s win over Erick Bone set up an away game on DAZN against Alexis Rocha that saw Santillan seemingly live up to all of his potential at once, demolishing the younger, bigger man in six.

As the quote points out, he’s now no. 1 with the WBO at 147; with Terence Crawford presumably likely to vacate in pursuit of Tim Tszyu, it’s very possible we see Santillan fight no. 2 Shakhram Giyasov for the belt in the near future.

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