Yan Carlos Santana returns against Ernesto Franzolini in Puerto Rico
Yan Carlos Santana is calling out all featherweights. He believes he is the next big thing at 126 pounds.
Santana returns to action tonight, as he squares off against Ernesto Franzolini tonight at the Coleseito Pedrin Zorrilla in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The eight-round bout will headlined a Boxeo al Maximo Internacional card, promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions (WAPA Deportes in Puerto Rico).
At Thursday’s weigh-in, both Santana and Franzolini weighed in at 125 pounds.
The 23-year-old Santana (9-0, 9 knockouts), who resides in La Romana in the Dominican Republic, has generated buzz in Puerto Rico, where he has fought his last three fights. Those amongst Cotto Promotions believe Santana has the assertive and fan-friendly style to not only win fights, but to do so impressively and make a name for himself at 126 pounds.
“Yan Carlos Santana has unique skills,” said Hector Soto, the president and promoter of Cotto Promotions. “He masters every challenge we give him very easily. Without a doubt, we are seeing the development of a special talent.”
In his last bout on August 26, also in San Juan, Santana stopped Jostin Ortiz in the opening round of a clash between unbeaten fighters. In his previous fight on July 12, Santana stopped Jose Benitez Ojeda in the second round. Benitez Ojeda also came into the fight unbeaten at 1-0.
Santana understands the lofty expectations placed on him, particularly those with Cotto Promotions. He is confident that he can fulfill and exceed those expectations, along with his goals of contending in the featherweight division.
“I’m very well-prepared, I feel ready,” said Santana at Wednesday’s press conference. “I urge all my Dominican brothers and Boricuas not to miss my fight (tonight) at the Pedrin Zorrilla. I’m going with everything and I’ll make it clear that I’m the best prospect at 126 pounds.”
Tonight will mark Santana’s fourth fight of this year. He also fought four times in 2022.
Franzolini (18-13-2, 1 KO) defeated journeyman Alfredo Petkus by unanimous decision in his hometown of Pinamar, Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 11. The 34-year-old has won his last four bouts since losing by knockout to once-beaten Christian Carto on April 29 of last year.
In the co-feature, unbeaten fringe junior lightweight contender Jose Aguirre (19-0, 12 KOs) of Arecibo, Puerto Rico will face Lucas Mignoni (14-5, 5 KOs), also of Argentina, in an eight-round bout.
Light heavyweight prospect Yan Gallardo-Lozano (5-0, 4 KOs) of Mexico will square off against journeyman Elie Augustama (6-19, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Augustama, who is originally from Haiti and now resides in Miami, Florida, has lost 15 fights, but has never been stopped during that stretch.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]