On Friday evening, April 25, 2014, in the Co-featured event of the latest Thompson Boxing Promotions "Locked n Loaded" boxing series at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA., San Diego’s Giovani Santillan (12-0, 7 KOs), the power-punching welterweight, remained undefeated and notched his twelfth professional victory by outpointing the crafty and previously unbeaten Daniyar Ganyk (10-1, 4 KOs) of the Ukraine. All three judges scored the bout 78-74 for the 22 year-old Santillan.
Santillan did his best work in round five when fighting in close. That’s when the San Diego southpaw caught Ganyk with a three-punch combination to the head and body that showered those sitting at ringside with beads of sweat.
The rangy Ukrainian, preferring to box from the outside and counter, had his moments but Santillan was able to close the gap with overhand lefts and straight rights. Ganyk did catch Santillan with a stiff right hand in round two that bloodied his nose, but it never became an issue.
"I knew he was going to be a tough opponent because of his reach and our limited scouting reports on him," said Santillan later. "He moves well and has a good chin, but that's not enough to beat me. I was able to land quality shots in almost every round."
In what locals were calling a major upset, Ruben Tamayo (23-5-3, 15 KOs) from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico won a majority decision victory over Efrain Esquivias (17-3-1, 10 KOs) from Carson, CA in the Main event.
On the scorecards, Tamayo earned his victory with scores of 78-74, 76-76, 77-75. Calling it a major upset is a stretch when you consider the less experienced, 30 year-old Esquivias (with his 21 fights, only 10 KOs) stands just 5’ 4” tall and has a reach of only 63 inches. His opponent, Tamayo, a southpaw, is four years younger, has had 33 fights with 17 KOs and his reach is a noticeable 6 inches longer.
The other indicator that all might not be right with Esquivias was the fact he couldn’t make weight. At Thursday’s weigh-in, he weighed a career high 136 pounds. When you’re overweight like this, the officials first ask his opponent if he still wants to accept the fight and if he is willing, the California State Athletic Commission then deducts 20% from Esquivias’ purse. 10% of the fine goes to the other boxer and 10% goes to the California State Athletic Commission.
Esquivias’ big claim to fame was his ninth round knockout victory over 38 year-old Mexican legend Rafael Marquez in September of last year when many feel Marquez was a shell of his former self.
For the majority of Friday night’s contest, you had Esquivias coming forward with his usual in-your-face aggressive style, while the taller Tamayo made a bigger impression on the judges with his timely combinations, mostly off counters and his much better matador-like defense.
On the undercard, lightweight prospect Jose Roman (16-1-1, 12 KOs) of Garden Grove, CA added another knockout victory to his resume by taking down Lauro Alcantar (8-2, 1 KO) of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. This one ended early, 1:19 of the first round, after Roman floored Alcantar with a left hook to the body. In Alcantar’s previous match he lasted just 21 seconds against Felix Verdejo (9-0).
"It feels good to know that all the hard work in training camp is paying off," said Roman, who is trained by Joel Diaz. "I'm improving with every fight and I'm looking forward to the next one."
Note well, Alcantar’s eight winds have come against opponents who had a combined record of 8-68.
Super featherweight Erick Ituarte (6-0-1, 1 KO) of Santa Ana, CA cruised to a 4-round unanimous decision victory over Juan Jose Sandoval (7-14-1, 4 KOs) of San Bernardino, CA. Scores were 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Ituarte looked the part of a polished prospect fighting with equal ease on the outside, in close and against the ropes.
In the opener, super bantamweights Fernando Samaniego (6-0-1, 3 KOs) of Phoenix and Francisco Camacho (2-4-1, 1 KO) of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico fought a competitive match that resulted in a majority draw. Samaniego landed the stronger punches, but Camacho proved to be the busier fighter. With neither boxer making a compelling case for the outright win, one judge scored the bout 39-37 for Samaniego, while the other two judges had it even at 38-38.
Who’s the impostor? In all seven of Samaniego’s fights he has yet to fight anyone with a winning record. As a matter of fact, the combined record of his seven opponents is 6 wins and 34 losses. In Camacho’s case, a gent who had lost four of his last five bouts, the combined record of his opponents is 26 wins with two losses.
"Locked n' Loaded" was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with KCAL 96.7 Rocks!, KOLA 99.9 and LATV Networks.