SUPER FLYWEIGHT PRODIGY JOSHUA ‘THE PROFESSOR’ FRANCO TO RETURN CO-MAIN EVENT FOR FIRST 10-ROUND FIGHT
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LOS ANGELES (Feb 8, 2018): Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN will return to the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, as Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-1, 13 KOs) makes the first defense of his NABO Super Flyweight Title in a 10-round rematch against Tijuana, Mexico’s Alejandro “Peque” Santiago (15-2-3, 7 KOs) on Saturday, March 24 at Complejo Ferial de Puerto Rico in Ponce. Doors to the event open at 7:00 p.m. AST/6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout begins at 7:30 p.m. AST/6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET /5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN 3 will live stream the fights beginning at 8:00 p.m. AST/7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
Martinez captured the NABO 115-pound title by defeating Jesus Martinez with a vicious shot to the body in the main event of the Nov. 16 edition of Golden Boy Boxing ESPN in Cancun, Mexico. Martinez’s record is unblemished except for a majority draw against Santiago himself, a decision that Martinez, the 25-year-old native of Las Marias, Puerto Rico, is eager to correct.
“I’m extremely happy and grateful to once again fight against Alejandro Santiago,” said Jose Martinez. “I wanted this fight to get that thorn off my side and to show all of my people what I’m made of. I learned a lot from the first fight because it was so close. I’ll walk away with the win by training hard and being in great condition.”
Santiago is a young fighter who has welcomed tough fights throughout his career. Though spending much of his time fighting at home in Tijuana, Mexico, the 21-year-old has twice gone to foreign territory in search of tough matchups. In 2016, Santiago fought to a split draw against then-undefeated Antonio Nieves in New York. Later that year, Santiago battled to a majority draw against Martinez, which he’ll look to rectify win a victory in their rematch.
“I believe I won the first fight,” said Alejandro Santiago. “It was a close fight, but this time there will be no doubts. I’m working really hard for this fight. I’m very motivated and I think that a victory will put me on the pathway to a world title. Martinez is a great fighter, and I know it will be a great fight. It’ll be a fight between Mexico and Puerto Rico, which is always big for boxing.”
In the televised co-main event, San Antonio’s, Texas’ Joshua “The Professor” Franco (13-0, 6 KOs) will return in his first 10-round fight against Lucas Fernandez (11-1-1, 8 KOs) of Santa Fe, Argentina. This super flyweight prospect’s nickname comes from his skillful boxing style, which combines good defense and short punches to be effectively aggressive. Franco will inch closer to a regional title if successful in this match-up.
Danielito Zorrilla (4-0, 4 KOs), the rising super lightweight puncher of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, will face Regino Canalas (6-6, 2 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico in a six-round battle. Zachary Ochoa (18-1, 7 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York will return in a six-round super lightweight fight against Puerto Rico’s Ryan Pino (7-1, 3 KOs). Ochoa will look to earn his third victory in a row after his first career loss.
Kevin Nieves (12-1, 5 KOs) of Comerio, Puerto Rico will return in a six-round lightweight clash against his compatriot Edgardi Rivera (7-5-2, 5 KOs), while Jose Bartelomei (4-0, 4 KOs) of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico will participate in a four-round fight against Miguel Ortiz (3-24) in the 130-pound division.
Rashidi Ellis (18-0, 12 KOs) of Boston, Mass. will return in an eight-round welterweight fight. Juan Camacho (6-1, 5 KOs), who is also from Juana Diaz, will square off in super flyweight fight scheduled for four rounds. Edwin Valentin (3-0, 3 KOs)of Salinas, Puerto Rico will compete in a six-round bantamweight fight, while Josean Serra (11-1, 7 KOs) of Ponce, Puerto Rico will return in a six-round light flyweight bout to open the night of action.
Opponents for all four, along with a full card of action, will be announced shortly.
Martinez vs. Santiago II is a 10-round fight for the NABO Super Flyweight Title promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fight will take place on Saturday, March 24 at Complejo Ferial De Puerto Rico in Ponce. Doors to the event open at 7:00 p.m. AST/6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT, and the first non-televised bout begins at 7:30 p.m. AST/6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET /5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN 3 will live stream the fights beginning at 8:00 p.m. AST/7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.