Giovani Santillan Overwhelms Angel Ruiz In a Hard-Fought Win
At the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, we have a battle of southpaws as Giovani Santillan faces Angel Ruiz in a ten-round welterweight contest. On paper, this one could bring fireworks as both men will not be hard to find.
Santillan is an aggressive fighter who brings the fight to you. Trained by Robert Garcia, the relentless 29-year-old from San Diego looks to pound the body. While he has a decent right jab and often fights behind a high guard, he wants to make his fights a war of attrition. The most notable win on his record was a razor-close unanimous decision win over former world WBC world lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco in June of 2020.
He faces a Ruiz who is a bit of an oxymoron as a fighter. Tall for the welterweight division at 5’10”, the 24-year-old Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico does not often utilize his height. Instead, he also likes to fight on the front foot. A visible weakness is a lack of head movement. It cost him the lone loss of his career, where he was starched in two rounds by Javier Flores in October 2019. Can he learn from past mistakes to defeat and win on enemy territory?
Santillan (28-0, 15 KOs) was looking to make a statement but was buzzed by a Ruiz (17-2, 12 KOs) uppercut midway through the opening round. The undefeated fighter adjusted by throwing more jabs in the second and third. He did a better job of moving his head while applying steady pressure. In short, he was technically sound while becoming more aggressive.
For his part, Ruiz was relying on countering with the right-hand uppercut and hooks. This was a fast paced and intense battle during the first half of this contest.
Over the second half of the fight, Santillan grew in confidence, fighting with more pressure and increasing his overall work rate. Ruiz injured his left hand earlier, and it made him hesitant. He fought like he was more worried about protecting his hand than winning the fight.
In the end, the judges scored the fight in favor of Santillan by unanimous decision (99-91, 100-90 x2). Despite an unbeaten record with nearly 30 fights as a professional, the winner is currently not a ranked welterweight with any major sanctioning organizations. He hopes this win is a springboard to more notoriety and attention going into 2022.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.