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Sunday, May 26, 2024

High-stakes showdown: Donaire vs. Santiago added to Spence vs. Crawford mega undercard

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By Ponciano C. Melo Jr.

Nonito Donaire’s highly-anticipated bout for the vacant WBC bantamweight title against Alexandro Santiago has been rescheduled and now set to take place on the undercard of Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford on July 29 (July 30 in Manila) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Originally planned as the co-main event for the Frank Martin vs. Artem Harutyunyan fight this weekend, the move to the pay-per-view event provides Donaire with a bigger stage for his title pursuit.

Donaire, who aims to beat his own record as the oldest bantamweight world champion in boxing history at 40 years old, holds an impressive record of 42-7 with 28 knockouts.

His opponent, Santiago, boasts a record of 27-3-5 with 14 knockouts, including a notable draw against former super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in 2018.

The pay-per-view undercard underwent further changes, as two fights were scrapped due to Viktor Faust’s withdrawal from his bout with Gurgen “Big Gug” Hovhannisyan and Jesus Ramos Jr’s withdrawal from a scheduled fight against Sergio Garcia.

Despite the adjustments, Garcia remains on the card and will now face off against prospect Yoenis Tellez, a 23-year-old Cuban junior middleweight trained by Ronnie Shields.

Donaire’s upcoming fight marks his return to the ring after a 13-month hiatus since his second-round knockout loss to Naoya Inoue in Japan.

On the other hand, Santiago has been on a winning streak, securing three victories in 2022 after a majority decision loss to Gary Antonio Russell in 2021.

With both fighters hungry for success, their clash promises to be an intense battle for the coveted WBC bantamweight title.

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