Jeo Santisima, Emanuel Navarrete rekindle Philippines-Mexico rivalry
By Nick Giongco
Defending champion Emanuel Navarrete is drawing inspiration from the fabled rivalry between Mexicans and Filipinos in the run-up to his fifth defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight crown against Jeo Santisima on Saturday night (Sunday in Manila) in Las Vegas.
Champion Emanuel Navarrete of Mexico and Filipino challenger Jeo Santisima strike a pose in Las Vegas. (Top Rank Images)
“I draw inspiration from the other iconic fights between Mexican and Filipino fighters that have taken place right here, especially Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez,” Navarrete said, stressing that he is looking forward to another “good performance” at the MGM Grand.
“I am going for another knockout victory… and I will demonstrate once again that I am the best at 122 lbs,” added Navarrete (30-1 with 26 KOs) who enters the ring the overwhelming favorite.
Santisima (19-2 with 16 KOs) is likewise taking a page from that storied rivalry by aiming to become a world champion in his first world title try.
“I’m going to be like Manny Pacquiao and win a world title in my first fight in the U.S. Achieving that is a huge motivation for me. It’s an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of,” said the puncher from Cebu, referring to Pacquiao’s sparkling debut in Sin City almost two decades ago.
Emanuel Navarrete of Mexico greets Filipino challenger Jeo Santisima with a handshake in Las Vegas. (Top Rank Images)
Santisima arrived in America last week and set up camp in Los Angeles before motoring to Las Vegas alongside trainers Edito ‘Ala’ Villamor and Michael Domingo.
The Navarrete-Santisima showdown will serve as an undercard to the world heavyweight duel between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
In the event Santisima pulls off a shocker, he will join Manny Pacquiao, John Riel Casimero, Jerwin Ancajas and Pedro Taduran as the country’s reigning world champions.
Tags: Emanuel Navarrete, Jeo Santisima, WBO, WBO super-bantamweight, World Boxing Organization