Thompson Boxing's unbeaten welterweight, Giovani Santillan (27-0, 15 KOs), will return to the ring this Friday October 15, 2021, against Angel Ruiz (17-1, 12 KOs), of Los Angeles, California.
The 10-round bout, shown live on ESPN+, will take place at the Pechanga Arena San Diego, in Santillan’s hometown of San Diego, CA, and will serve as the co-main event to Emanuel Navarrete’s (34-1, 29 KOs) WBO Featherweight title defense against Joet Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs).
This will be Santillan's first fight in San Diego since 2014, and his second fight with head coach Robert Garcia, who has his father Memo Santillan in the corner as an assistant. Santillan has a co-promotional agreement with Top Rank Inc., who is promoting this event.
Here is what Santillan had to say about training camp, his matchup with Ruiz, and more.
On his recent training camp:
"I have started working with Robert Garcia as well as with my father after the Antonio DeMarco fight, and this camp has been very productive. I was in the gym with great fighters like Jose Ramirez, Mikey Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, you name it, I was sparring the best. I am driving two-hours round trip multiple times a-week to get the best work possible, and I know that everything I put into this camp from time, money and sacrifice, will show up on this huge stage. I’ll be fighting in my hometown of San Diego, with a lot of family and friends in attendance, so I’ll be ready for war.”
On his matchup with Angel Ruiz:
"I sparred him a few years back, I am not taking much from the sparring since it is just sparring, but I know what he brings to the table. He is a good fighter, and I am well-prepared to face a warrior like him. This is the biggest fight of my life, and I am looking to put on a show - and make my name known in the welterweight division. I will put it this way, I won't be surprised by what he does in the ring on Friday night."
On fighting on ESPN+:
"It is a great moment in my career. Thompson Boxing and Top Rank have done wonders for me, allowing me to fight on such great cards, and this feels like a big moment in my career, fighting at home, on television, with the world watching. I didn't come this far just to come this far. I want this to be a memorable moment and having a great network like ESPN+ stream this fight, makes it even more special."
On what a win will do for his career:
"A win puts me in the mix with a lot of good fighters. I don't want to say anyone's name just yet, but I have nearly 30 wins with no losses and am in one of the most stacked divisions in all of boxing, the welterweight division. I need to look like I belong on television and look like I am a main event fighter. If I look the part and perform how I should, I know my promoters will do their job and get me in with one of the best fighters in the world, but right now I must do my job on Friday.”