Bob Arum returns to the Arena with another Explosive Show

       It has certainly been “many-Moons” since Boxing Promoter Bob Arum, the former New York lawyer and now legendary Hall of Fame Boxing Promoter has come our way to showcase one of his Classic Shows and here he is in the flesh promoting one of our very own, Welterweight sensation Giovani Santillan who’s gym, The Boxing Club, is just up the street in the East Village with an additional two gyms, one in La Jolla, and the third in Kearny Mesa.

Even if you’re unaware of all those Terry & Orlin Norris thrillers at the Sports Arena, if you’re a diehard boxing fan you must know of the classic Ken Norton versus Muhammed Ali thriller for the World Heavyweight Title. It has now been more than 48 and a half years since that happened right here in Point Loma. In that heavyweight title fight Norton busted Ali’s jaw in round number one and Ali went on to lose his World Heavyweight Title. Now we have Mr. Arum (Top Rank) returning to our fair city with another purpose in mind. He has more than a few top fighters under contract (most notable: Giovani Santillan and Emanuel Navarrete set to fight at the Pechanga Arena in Point Loma on Friday night and they’ll be appearing coast to coast on ESPN+.

On October 15th it will be Emanuel Navarrete vs Joet Gonzalez, top featherweights, in a Title fight. Then, it’s lefty vs lefty, two top welterweights: San Diego’s undefeated Giovani Santillan (27-0) taking on the 24-year-old Angel “Relampago” Ruiz (17-1) from Tijuana a rising star in the Boxing World. While Ruiz is two-inches taller and will have a 4½″ reach advantage, Giovani Santillan is special. To negate his opponent’s reach advantage, he’ll likely nullify that edge by hanging in there close, right in Ruiz’s wheelhouse.

Here we have a photo taken of the early arrivals for Thursday’s weigh-ins at the Omni Hotel. If you were walking passed them on the street, it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to name them. Let me help you- you have Navarrete on the far left with his trainers, then Bob Arum, the young lady in the center of the photo who is certainly one of the most popular interviewers applying that extra layer of makeup appears to be her priority. And since the majority of the boxers were wearing masks our guessing game can wait.

             Below is the Bout Sheet along with the photos taken Friday as the Boxers got on the scales.

Starting from the bottom (left) of that ESPN+ bout sheet, we have 31-year-old Demonte “Sugar

                                                                                           Bear” Randle (2-1) from Kansas City, Missouri, a stoic six-footer with an 80 inch reach.

       Just when you were thinking how can anybody beat Mr. Randle, along comes this amiable                                                                                                                                                                                                        but foreboding 6’9″ tall, 24-year-old giant Antonio Mireles from Des Moines, Iowa                                                                                                    who appears to be extremely fit and already has people like Tyson Fury in his crosshairs.

Next up, it was 18-year-old Floyd Diaz (2-0) of Las Vegas, Nevada (l) taking on the 5’9″ tall, 18-year

old Jose Ramirez (1-0, 1 KO) (right) from Tucson, Arizona in a 4 round Bantamweight match.

Next up, they have the 32-year-old super middleweight, 5’11” tall, 73″ reach Darryl “Chiseled” Jones (4-2-1, 2 KOs) (right) from North Port, Florida who is a righty coming off two extremely tough outings – a Mixed Decision Draw in his last fight to Nissan Anderson who was making his Pro Debut, plus a unanimous decision loss in his previous outing back in 2019 to the rather fierce Hakim Lopez who at this time has an 11-0 record with 7 KOs and is now fighting as a Light Heavyweight. Jones’ opponent on Friday night is the undefeated 6’1″ tall, 26-year-old southpaw Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (4-0, 2 KOs) (left) who is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and appears to be the serious type, lean and mean and focused on securing his fifth straight victory.

Bout #4 has Juan Garcia Mendez taking on ex-Olympian Lindolfo Delgado.

A lot of people, especially the women folk, will have their eyes glued on Juan Garcia Mendez’s opponent, let’s call him Mr. Hollywood, the undefeated super lightweight Lindolfo Delgado.

In our next photo we have the 26-year-old righty, 5’9″ tall, 68″ reach Lindolfo Delgado (13-0 with 12 KOs) from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico who unlike most fighters has remained quite busy during the Pandemic. For example, Mr. Delgado fought once in mid-June and then more recently on September 1o, just 35 days ago. He fought five times in 2018 and four more in 2019. Since his last seven fights have all had winning records, he’s been forced to travel both near and far to get his fights which are on their turf. As an up and comer, Delgado is more serious about getting his career up and running.

In regards to his 29-year-old opponent, Juan Garcia Mendez, Alias: Tortas (21-4-2, 13 KOs) he is also a righty. Mendez is from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, where it appears he’s been used and abused. His record since November of 2016 is (2-3-1).

In the next bout, we have our second local representative: 28-year-old Manuel Rey Rojas of San Diego by way of Dallas, Texas, 21-5, 6 KOs. His manager is Arnie Verbeek and trainer Vince Parra.

Rojas’ opponent in this 8 round Lightweight match is the 24-year-old Henry Lebron (13-0, 9 KOs) from far off Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Lebron stands 5’6″ tall and has a shorter 68″ reach.

Since both men are serious as a heart attack about their boxing careers, drawing a conclusion about who is going to come out victorious appears off the table. We consider this match-up a toss-up.

Hometown hero Giovani Santillan confidantly takes the stage to impress his neighbors and friends. As you might imagine, Santillan was right on weight, exactly 147 lbs. which is the limit for a Welterweight. His opponent was not on point and weighed 147.4 lbs.

And finally we get to the man of the hour, the gentlman in possession of that all important Championship Belt, the 26-year-old, 5’7″ tall, 72″ reach Emanuel Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) who gets a major assist from three men who coincidentally bare the same last name: Pedro Navarrete Jr., Amado Navarrete and Pedro Navarrete Sr. who strangely enough are all family.Navarrete’s opponent on Friday evening is the 28-year-old, 5’6″ tall Joet Gonzalez from upstate, Glendora, Calif. who will also have family members in his corner, Jose and Jousce Gonzalez. Joet’s record is 24-1 with 14 KOs. That may be mpressive but not as impressive as Navarrete’s.At this point, it’s all up to you to either call The Pechanga Arena’s box office for tickets or get on the phone and order the fights through ESPN+ for this unforgettable Boxing Show.

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