After a close call in his last fight, Giovani Santillan is set to add to his name to the ranks of the top welterweight contenders. Santillan will return from a yearlong layoff to fight seasoned pro Cecil McCalla in a crossroads battle scheduled for eight or 10 rounds this Saturday, June 26 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Santillan-McCalla will be among the undercard bouts streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.
The return of former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko in a 12-round lightweight bout against Masayoshi Nakatani, and a 10-round middleweight contest between unbeaten sensation Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly and former world champion Rob “Bravo” Brant will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $75 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
The San Diego-born Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) developed his craft on the Southern California club show circuit, and the 29-year-old is now a welterweight contender closing in on a world title opportunity. He last fought on June 16, 2020, escaping via majority decision over former lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco in a pitched two-way battle. It represented the closest call of the southpaw's career, and he hopes to put forth a more dominating effort against McCalla (23-4, 10 KOs), a 13-year pro who has never been stopped in the paid ranks. McCalla, from Maryland, has won two straight bouts since a decision defeat to Madiyar Ashkeyev.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
Heavyweight knockout artist Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, makes his return against Marlon Williams (6-1, 3 KOs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Vianello hopes to bounce back from last October’s draw to Bubble fan-favorite Kingsley Ibeh.
Bantamweight puncher Robert “Biggie” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KOs), who shined with a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, will fight Mexican veteran Luis Fernando Saavedra (8-6, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Saavedra last fought in February 2019, when he bested the previously undefeated Mario Hernandez over eight rounds.
One of Japan’s most promising young fighters, Subaru Murata, will make his professional debut in a four-round junior featherweight tilt against Keven Monroy (1-1, 1 KO). Murata had a reported 68-12 amateur record and defeated the likes of undefeated bantamweight contender Lee McGregor.
Flashy bantamweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (1-0), who turned pro in February, returns against fellow unbeaten Jaime Jasso (2-0) in a four-rounder. Diaz, from Las Vegas, was mentored by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as an amateur and is managed by James Prince.
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