ORANGE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2017) – World ranked title contender Giovani Santillan (22-0, 12 KOs) defends his recently acquired NABO welterweight championship against once-beaten Dodzi Kemeh (13-1, 12 KOs) on Friday, Nov. 17, in Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “New Blood” main event.
The 10-round championship fight originates from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. and marks Thompson Boxing’s season finale from the Southern California venue.
Santillan, a sturdy southpaw from San Diego, Calif., delivered an electric performance in his last outing. In July, he knocked out the previously unbeaten Sammy Valentin in the second round to become the new NABO champion at 147 pounds. At the time, Valentin was ranked No. 9 by the WBO.
In addition, the knockout win – televised on Telemundo – inserted Santillan into the world rankings and currently sits as the No. 7 rated welterweight by the WBO.
“I feel great heading into my fight against Kemeh,” said the 25-year-old Santillan. “I just have to continue to build quality wins to work my way up the rankings.”
Kemeh is largely unknown due to his proclivity to fight all but one of his professional fights from his hometown of Accra, Ghana. His fight against Santillan marks the first time fighting away from his native country.
Santillan acknowledges the slim scouting report on Kemeh, but adds that it won’t present any issues on fight night.
“I stay ready all year and have seen so many different styles in sparring through the years that I’m comfortable going up against anyone at this point,” said Santillan, who sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Tim Bradley well before their respective retirements. “All I want to do is close out the year with a solid win.”
Tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or visiting ThompsonBoxing.com.
To access the “New Blood” promotional video, please click here.
In the 8-round co-feature, Erick Ituarte (18-1-1, 2 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. defends his Junior NABF Featherweight title for the second time against veteran Jose Estrella (18-13-1, 12 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico.
Over his last two fights, Ituarte has been cutting it close on the scorecards. In May, he narrowly defeated Isaac Zarate by split decision in a vacant title fight that earned him his current championship. Three months later, Ituarte retained his belt in another split decision outcome over Alberto Torres.
“No more close fights,” Ituarte said. “We worked hard this training camp to make sure we win convincingly.”
Also on “New Blood,” lightweight Manuel Mendez (15-2-2, 11 KOs) of Indio, Calif. hopes to return to the winning track against Mexico’s Abraham Cordero (13-3-1, 7 KOs) in a bout set for 8-rounds.
Mendez suffered a slight set back in June when he was stopped by Mohammed Rodriguez. Mendez has since retooled and is ready to showcase the power punching ability that has defined his early career.
“I’ve been waiting five months to get back in the ring,” Mendez, 27, said. “I’ve corrected the mistakes that led to that loss and I can’t wait to fight.”
The remaining undercard highlights four undefeated prospects: bantamweight Mario Hernandez (3-0) of Santa Ana, Calif., lightweight Ruben Torres (2-0, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles, bantamweight Jonah Flores (1-0) of Riverside, Calif., and junior welterweight Luis Zarazua (6-0-1, 3 KOs) of McAllen, Texas.
Opponents for the undefeated prospects will be announced at a later date (all 4-rounds).
All fights will be livestreamed on TB Presents: New Blood via our Facebook page and ThompsonBoxing.com.
The livestream starts at 8:00 p.m. PT / 11:00 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert color commentary.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 8:00 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N. Vineyard Ave. in Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at 909-937-0900.