By Francisco Salazar
Boxing returns to California’s Central Coast this Friday with a card featuring a fighter risking his winning streak and a fighter making his heavyweight debut as a legit contender.
Welterweight Francisco Santana will fight former world titleholder Joachim Alcine in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.
Also on the card will be former cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode. He will fight Travis Jon Fulton in a scheduled six round bout.
A total of six professional bouts will take place on the Gary Shaw Productions card.
Santana (17-3, 6 KOs) has won his last five bouts in a row since a one-sided eight round unanimous decision loss to Jermell Charlo in October of 2011.
Those five bouts have taken place at the Chumash Casino Resort, which is a 30-40 minute drive from Santana’s hometown of Santa Barbara.
Santana scored his most impressive victory to date in his last bout on August 16th; a 10 round unanimous decision over Freddy Hernandez.
Alcine (33-6-1, 14 KOs) made his mark as a world title-holder at 154 pounds. He is dropping down one weight class to face Santana.
The Haitian-born fighter, who resides in Montreal, has lost his last four bouts in a row. He lost a 10 round unanimous decision to Omar Chavez in his last bout on October 19th in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
His last victory was a 12 round split decision over David Lemieux almost two years ago.
In his first bout in over 18 months, Kayode returns to the ring as a heavyweight after a few years of fighting as a cruiserweight contender.
Kayode (18-0, 14 KOs) has not fought since June 2nd of last year, when he fought to a 12 round split decision draw against Antonio Tarver. The California State Athletic Commission would later overturn the result to a No Decision, when Tarver tested positive for an anabolic steroid after the fight.
Kayode was penciled to fight Andy Ruiz last month in Macau, China, but the fight fell through. Kayode signed a promotional deal with Greg Cohen, who has promoted Austin Trout and Samuel Peter.
Fulton (21-33-1, 20 KOs), from Cedar Rapids, IO, will be fighting for the sixth time in 2013. He has faced a number of prospects and contenders in a career that began in February of 1999.
In his last bout on October 19th, Fulton was stopped in the first round by unbeaten Gerald Washington in Cuajimalpa, DF, Mexico.
Also on the card will be lightweight Rustam Nugaev. He will fight Ira Terry in a scheduled 10 round bout.
The Russian-born Nugaev (25-6-1, 15 KOs) has won his last four bouts in a row. In his last bout on August 9th, Nugaev knocked out Jose Hernandez in the fifth round in Cabazon, CA.
Terry (26-11, 16 KOs), from Memphis, TN, was knocked out by Francisco Vargas in his last bout on January 26th.
In a compelling female bout, unbeaten Maria Suarez (6-0-1) of nearby Santa Maria will fight Jolene Blackshear (8-3, 3 KOs) in a scheduled six round bout.
Two more bouts round out the card.
Doors open at 5PM local time, with first bell scheduled for 5:30PM.
Tickets start at $35 and go up to $75 for ringside seating. Tickets could be purchased at the Chumash Casino Box Office or by calling 1-800-248-6274
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and Ring TV. He could be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at FSalazarBoxingTags: boxing