Crowded April


Photo by Carlos Baeza

Crowded Weekend: Giovanni Santillan in Ontario; Triple G at Forum and More

By David A. Avila

It’s rush hour traffic for boxing this weekend.

San Diego’s Giovanni Santillan (18-0, 10 Kos) headlines another good Thompson Boxing Promotions card at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel on Friday April 22. It kicks off a wild two days of boxing that ends the next day with K-2 Promotions in Inglewood with middleweight and flyweight championship bouts.

Thompson Boxing has been the best little engine that could as yet another discovered talent Santillan faces Mexico’s Jose De Jesus Macias (18-5-2, 9 Kos) in the main event. Since its inception, the Orange County-based promotion company has dug up a number of today’s best prizefighters like Tim Bradley, Mauricio Herrera and Josesito Lopez.

Santillan, 24, looks like another gem to add to Thompson’s treasure chest. The southpaw has shown excellent defense, speed and the ability to figure out each opponent. He’ll be joined on the fight card by Jose Roman, Erick Ituarte and Carlos Carlson.

Incidentally, Santillan sparred with Bradley in preparation for his fight with Manny Pacquiao.

"The education I received from the Bradley sparring sessions is priceless," said Santillan the NABF titlist. "I was able to absorb so much in such a small amount of time. He was very open to giving me advice."

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Inglewood, Calif.

Middleweight king Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin returns with his sidekick flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez to the Inglewood Forum on Saturday April 23, as they defend their respective world titles. This time two outstanding female bouts are added to the fight card.

The extremely popular Golovkin (34-0, 31Kos) has used his high voltage attack to savage the middleweight division since arriving from Europe five years ago. His self-described “Mexican style” fighting mode has electrified boxing fans and bolted him to the top as boxing fans favorite fighter.

Golovkin faces undefeated Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 Kos) a fast, long-armed middleweight with knockout power. HBO will televise it. Not much is known about the opponent but history has shown that unknown fighters are dangerous. Think Julio Cesar Chavez facing Frankie Randall who floored the Mexican icon and gave him his first loss in 1994. You just never know.

“Every fight is important for me. I feel good. I have motivation and I’m working hard,” said Golovkin, 34, in Big Bear. “My focus is on Dominic Wade right now.”

Wade has full confidence that he can upset Golovkin.

“I think everybody is kind of underestimating what I can do,” said Wade, 26, of Maryland. “It kind of motivates me a little bit that nobody gives me a chance.”

In the co-main event WBC flyweight titlist Gonzalez (44-0, 38 Kos) of Nicaragua faces Puerto Rico’s McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 Kos). Both 112-pounders are mini-destroyers and pack serious firepower despite their small size. It should be a competitive scrap.

Two female bouts feature talented young women from California and Mexico.

Kenia Enriquez (15-1, 7 Kos), a former world champion from Tijuana, faces San Diego’s Amaris “Diamond Girl” Quintana (9-2-2) in a light flyweight clash set for eight rounds.

Enriquez lost her title to Melissa McMorrow last year. Quintana fought McMorrow to a draw on two occasions. It’s evenly matched and should be a very good female clash.

“I’m very happy and anxious for the day to get here for me to perform on such a prestigious event,” said Enriquez, 22. “I want the days to go faster.”

Quintana, who has sparred Enriquez in the past, agrees the event is huge.

“I’ve always admired Triple G,” said Quintana, 26. “It’s an honor to fight on the same card.”

Also, East L.A.’s Seniesa Estrada (5-0) fights Selene Lopez (3-4-3) in a light flyweight bout set for six rounds. One side note, Lopez was knocked out by Enriquez and lost to Quintana by decision.

Doors at the Forum open at 4:30 p.m.