Friday, September 22, 2023  |



Donaire-Santiago bantamweight title fight moved to Spence-Crawford card

Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

The vacant WBC bantamweight title fight between Nonito Donaire Jr. and Alexandro Santiago scheduled for this Saturday has been pushed back to July 29 due to injuries – but not to them.

The bout was originally scheduled to take place this Saturday on a Showtime Championship Boxing card in Las Vegas, but will now take place on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford pay-per-view card, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight was moved to fill out the pay-per-view portion of the show after Viktor Faust was forced to withdraw from his fight against Gurgen Hovhannisyan due to a back injury.

Donaire (42-7, 28 knockouts), a future Hall of Famer, will effectively have home advantage, having lived in Las Vegas for many years. The 40-year-old is looking to break his own record for oldest bantamweight champion. He hasn’t fought in over a year, having been knocked out in two rounds by Naoya Inoue in his last fight in June of 2022.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to become a world champion once again on an already historic night for boxing,” said Donaire. “I’m thankful to my team for this opportunity and I’m going to do everything I can to make the most of it. We’re working really hard on defense and being as fast as possible. It’s been an amazing camp and I can’t wait to get in the ring.”

Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico will be getting his second shot at a world title. He lost fought for a belt in 2018, being held to a controversial split decision draw against then IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas. The 27-year-old has won three straight fights, including a seventh round stoppage over Antonio Nieves in October.

“I have been waiting five years to get another world title opportunity, so another two weeks is nothing,” said Santiago. “I’m still focused and working hard. The objective and target is still the same. I’m very fortunate and would like to thank my team for this great opportunity to be part of such an amazing event on July 29.”

The Donaire-Santiago fight will be the second bout on the pay-per-view card, which will be co-main evented by a lightweight bout between Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz and undefeated Giovanni Cabrera.

The opening bout of the four-fight broadcast has also been adjusted due to an injury. Jesus Ramos Jr., who was scheduled to face Sergio Garcia in a ten-round junior middleweight bout. Instead, Yoenis Tellez (5-0, 4 KOs), a 23-year-old Cuban boxer who is trained by Ronnie Shields, will take the step-up bout.

Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs) of Torrelavega, Spain is coming off a decision win over Ricardo Sebastian in his last fight in April, which helped him bounce back after back-to-back decision losses to Sebastian Fundora and Tony Harrison.