Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Santana on Jose Benavidez: My Goal is To Chop The Tree Down!

By Francisco Salazar

Overcoming obstacles demonstrate character.

If that is the case, Francisco Santana is already a winner.

Just when it seems Santana has been down and out in his career, he reappears to prove doubters wrong.

Santana has little to lose and everything to gain should he come out victorious Saturday night, when he faces unbeaten Jose Benavidez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

The 10 round bout will be part of the four-bout HBO Pay Per View broadcast (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT), which will be headlined by the unification bout between unbeaten junior welterweights Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol.

Santana (24-4-1, 12 KOs) looked as though he would become a young gatekeeper about five years ago when he was coming off an eight round decision loss to Jermell Charlo. Santana had won only once in four fights and there was a point where Santana pondered the future of his career.

That is when the Santa Barbara, Calif. resident began working trainer Joseph ‘Hoss’ Janik, who has worked with Victor Ortiz and Maureen Shea.

“God put (him) in my life for a reason,” Santana told Boxingscene.com last Saturday. “I still remember meeting Coach Hoss many, many years ago when I was a kid. Never in a million years did I think I was going to be training with him. You never know how life is going to turn out.”

That move panned out as Santana put together a 10-fight winning streak, earning him a bout with then-unbeaten Sadam Ali. Santana held his own, but lost a 10 round decision.
The 30-year-old Santana has won his last two bouts and was signed to a promotional contract with Top Rank.

He faces Benavidez, who is unbeaten and will likely be the house fighter come Saturday night. He has not fought since December 12.

benavidez-santana (3)_1

Despite being the underdog, Santana is confident in his abilities to defeat Benavidez.

“He's had close calls that have worked in his favor, especially in Las Vegas,” said Santana, who is managed by Frank Espinoza. “I don't put that pressure on myself. I just go in there and do my job. I have 10 rounds to execute the game-plan. If the knockout comes, it comes. If it doesn't, my goal is to work and chop the tree down. That's my game-plan. I'm going to go in there and do my job.”
 
“I have a long reach as well. Overall, it's persistence and timing. Being able to work that distance. A great example of someone who applies that is Canelo (Alvarez). He's not the fastest, but he's very persistent. He's got great timing and he's got good spacing with his feet. He's a great example I look up to. I'm going to try and do the same.”
 
Saturday will be Santana’s biggest fight of his pro career. The amount of sparring he receives at Knuckleheadz Gym in Ventura, where he has sparred the likes of Victor Ortiz, Willie Monroe, and Sergey Lipinets, has prepared him for the more-technical Benavidez.
 
“Sparring is a place to learn. It's like school. You take pop quizzes before the big exam. I feel all the sparring (I have done) are all my quizzes so that I'm prepared to ace the exams on fight night. When I'm in there, I listen to Coach. I try and practice new things, (correct) my weaknesses. My strengths will always be with me. It's second nature. So I work on my weakness, so I make that second-nature to me.”
 
Santana is one of the good guys in boxing and it is hard not to root for a fighter like him. He has overcome numerous obstacles to arrive at his biggest fight of his career.
 
A win could open the door for many more lucrative fights and to continue on that path towards a world title belt.
 
“I know what I'm made of. I know what I'm supposed to do. I feel that God planted that seed in my head for a purpose and that is to become a world champion. I have no quit in me. I'm a guy that keeps pressing forward. I've always done that no matter how much resistance keeps coming at me.”
 
“Eventually, I'll create my own holes and walk right through them. That's exactly what I've done (throughout my career). I've taken the small fights, the pay-cuts, all of the above to be where I'm at now. I'm very blessed and thankful and it's time to execute. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Golden Boy Prez: We Had a Deal For Weeks, GGG Changed Terms Jeff Horn: No Fear of Terence Crawford, I'm Going To Win Burnett, Tete, Rodriguez, Inoue in 'Toughest Challenge' – Booth GGG Promoter: Canelo Looking For Any Excuse To Do Easier Fight Amir Khan: No Fear of Kell Brook, I'd Love To Fight and Beat Him! Mares Confident He'll Make Right Adjustments To Beat Santa Cruz Adonis Stevenson: I'd Beat Bellew's Ass Again, KO Him in The UK! Donnie Nietes is Very Open To Facing Jerwin Ancajas Jaime Munguia Looks Forward To Liam Smith Showdown Pascal Urges Lemieux To Stay at 160: He's Too Small For 168 Linares Planning Ring Return, Wants To Reunite With Salas Photos: David Lemieux Returns, Pounds On Achour To Win Ramirez on Switch From Roach: Garcia's Young, Hungry, Motivated Photos: Jerwin Ancajas Gains Lopsided Win Over Jonas Sultan Quigg Willing to Fight Frampton in Rematch August 18 in Belfast Horn's Coach: Crawford's Trainer is Not 'Bomac' - He's 'Big Mac!' Golovkin Promoter: Canelo Wants 65-35, We Want Fair 50-50 Split! Photos: Kal Yafai Drops David Carmona Five Times For TKO Win Photos: Argenis Mendez Wins, Decks Eddie Ramirez Four Times Photos: King Tug Demolishes Oscar Escandon - Knockdown Fest Jayr Raquinel Blasts Out Shun Kosaka To Retain OPBF Title Roman Gonzalez vs. Kal Yafai Could Be Next, Says Eddie Hearn Golden Boy Prez: Golovkin Rematch is Dead, Ridiculous Demands! Oscar Valdez Calls on AIBA To Bring Back Old Rules, Train Judges Manzanilla Shocks Julio Ceja, Costs Him Mandatory Title Shot David Lemieux Sends Achour Down, Punishes Him For Decision Argenis Mendez Drops Eddie Ramirez Four Times, Wins Decision Jerwin Ancajas Decisions Jonas Sultan, Retains IBF Title Tugstsogt Nyambayar Drops Oscar Escandon 5 Times, TKO in 3 Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Kal Yafai Drops, Stops David Carmona in Seven Rounds Kal Yafai vs. David Carmona - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Shawn Porter: I'll Fight Danny Garcia Wherever He Wants Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan Undercard Results From Fresno Hearn: Joshua vs. Povetkin Discussions Are Ongoing Yafai: 'Absolute Joke' How Heavy Carmona Came in for Our Fight Horn's Trainer: Crawford is Just a Man, Horn Beat a Legend! Naoya Inoue Eyes More Titles: I Hope To Win Whole WBSS! Adonis Stevenson: Mayweather Tricked Us With The Officials! Ricky Burns Will Return on June 16th in Newcastle
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement