Rodriguez Aims For Santiago Unification: “I Want That Next Fight”

Manny Rodriguez Wants To Prove Santiago Wrong

Emmanuel Rodriguez targets Alexandro Santiago
Emmanuel Rodriguez targets Alexandro Santiago | credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Manny Rodriguez vs Alexandro Santiago Unification Coming?

The bantamweight division could be on the verge of a unification bout featuring IBF champion Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez (22-2, 13KO) and WBC champion Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14KO). On August 12, Rodriguez was flawless in regaining the title against Melvin Lopez.

With the idea of fighting in a unification bout, the Puerto Rican didn’t hesitate to respond when asked about fighting the Mexican WBC champion in the post-fight interview.

“In an interview, we saw Santiago saying that there was nobody at 118 that could beat him. Well, that’s me. I’m going to try and beat him, and yes, I want that next fight.”


On July 29, Santiago turned in an outstanding performance to secure the vacant WBC title against multi-champion Nonito Donaire. What made the victory extra special was that it happened on the undercard of the biggest fight in boxing between champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.

In 2018, he surprised the boxing world by scoring a draw against then-IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas. Santiago is on a four-fight win streak since losing to Gary Antonio Russell in 2021.

Rodriguez suffered his first career defeat to former undisputed bantamweight and current unified super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue in 2019. In 2020, he lost by a split decision against top contender Reymart Gaballo. After waiting four long years, he became a two-time champion.

If this fight gets made, it has the potential to be a fan-friendly affair, considering the dynamic of the Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry.

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."