After a close call in his last fight, Giovani Santillan is set to add to his name to the ranks of the top welterweight contenders. Santillan will return from a yearlong layoff to fight seasoned pro Cecil McCalla in a crossroads battle scheduled for eight or 10 rounds this Saturday, June 26 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Santillan-McCalla will be among the undercard bouts streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.
The return of former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko in a 12-round lightweight bout against Masayoshi Nakatani, and a 10-round middleweight contest between unbeaten sensation Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly and former world champion Rob “Bravo” Brant will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $75 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
The San Diego-born Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) developed his craft on the Southern California club show circuit, and the 29-year-old is now a welterweight contender closing in on a world title opportunity.
He last fought on June 16, 2020, escaping via a majority decision over former lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco in a pitched two-way battle.
It represented the closest call of the southpaw’s career, and he hopes to put forth a more dominating effort against McCalla (23-4, 10 KOs), a 13-year pro who has never been stopped in the paid ranks. McCalla, from Maryland, has won two straight bouts since a decision defeat to Madiyar Ashkeyev.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
- Heavyweight knockout artist Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, makes his return against Marlon Williams (6-1, 3 KOs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Vianello hopes to bounce back from last October’s draw to Bubble fan-favorite Kingsley Ibeh.
- Bantamweight puncher Robert “Biggie” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KOs), who shined with a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, will fight Mexican veteran Luis Fernando Saavedra (8-6, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Saavedra last fought in February 2019, when he bested the previously undefeated Mario Hernandez over eight rounds.
- One of Japan’s most promising young fighters, Subaru Murata, will make his professional debut in a four-round junior featherweight tilt against Keven Monroy (1-1, 1 KO). Murata had a reported 68-12 amateur record and defeated the likes of undefeated bantamweight contender Lee McGregor.
- Flashy bantamweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (1-0), who turned pro in February, returns against fellow unbeaten Jaime Jasso (2-0) in a four-rounder. Diaz, from Las Vegas, was mentored by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as an amateur and is managed by James Prince.