By CARLO ANOLIN
Filipino boxer Jeo Santisima and American opponent Joet Gonzales are set to dispute the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International featherweight title in a 10-round bout at the Save Mart Arena, in Fresno, California Friday, March 4 there (Saturday in Manila).
Santisima tipped the scales at 125.2 lbs while Gonzales was a bit heavier at 125.8 lbs.
“This fight would be a great fight for both of us because we’re both challengers against [Emanuel] Navarrete,” said Santisima, backed by MP Promotions, through the help of a translator. “Great fight, let’s go!”
This marks Santisima’s second title shot since challenging Navarrete, now the reigning WBO featherweight champion, in a super bantamweight title match in February 2020.
Navarrete captured the WBO super bantam belt after scoring an eleventh-round technical knockout win over Santisima.
Since his defeat, Santisima had bounced back after taking back-to-back KO wins against compatriots Marjon Piencenaves and Alan Alberca in December 2020 and July 2021, respectively.
“It’s a big opportunity to fight Navarrete last time and great respect to Navarrete for that fight,” added Santisima, formerly from the ALA Boxing Gym.
Gonzales, for his part, also yielded to Navarrete via unanimous decision in October 2021.
“My last fight shows how tough I am. I know he’s a tough fighter but I showed the people how tough I am. And let’s see who comes up as the winner this Friday,” added the Californian pugilist.
Santisima, 25, holds a 21-3 record on top of 18 KOs while Gonzales, 28, owns a 24-2 slate with 14 KOs.
The Santisima-Gonzales card serves as the co-main feature for the junior welterweight showdown between Jose Pedraza and Jose Ramirez.