Bantamweight contender, Alexis “Beaver” Santiago (21-3-1, 8KOs), defeated a crafty Erik Ruiz (15-5, 6KOs) last night in Las Vegas in a fisticuff battle that went the distance. The featured main event was presented by Premier Boxing Champions and televised on Fox Sports 1.
Santiago wasted no time from the first bell, choosing to immediately to face Ruiz straight on and trade punches. Santiago mixed it up early landing combinations and very effective body shots early to set the tone of the fight.
Ruiz, a solid fighter from Oxnard has some serious heart. He was taking some punches and proved he had a solid chin, often walking down Santiago, and taking more blows than he was throwing.
Santiago was the quicker of the two, displaying speed and agility with each precision punch thrown. Ruiz would not go away, though, he constantly kept moving forward and forced Santiago to work for his punches.
By the mid-rounds, Santiago continued mounting points, landing the more effective and precise punches. Ruiz did well getting on the inside from time to time and landing some nicely thrown uppercuts.
Like a stubborn dog, Ruiz continued moving forward and just simply refused to give up. He paid dearly for the strategy, as Santiago continued to land a steady stream of jabs blistering power shots.
The action was toe-to-toe going into the later rounds, neither fighter refusing to give up. Although Ruiz was clearly behind on the scorecards, he displayed tremendous stamina.
In the final round, it was apparent that Ruiz had taken some hard shots. A swollen face was evidence of the shots Santiago was landing. For the true boxing fan, this was a very entertaining fight to watch. It was a display of skill between two talented fighters, each refusing to give up.
The fight would go the distance, 10-rounds of pure action. In the end, the judges scored the bout 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 in favor of Alexis “Beaver” Santiago for the unanimous decision win.
Credit Erik Ruiz, he fought a tough opponent in Alexis Santiago and proved he has talent and is tough. To go ten rounds is difficult, especially when your opponent throws over 900 punches in the process.
The win clearly places the Phoenix resident in a position for a shot at a world title. Santiago currently holds the WBO NABO bantamweight title and the WBC USNBC bantamweight title.
Santiago, who was signed by Mayweather Promotions last year has not disappointed, he has improved with every fight and has won his last ten bouts.
It’s been a dramatic improvement for Alexis “Beaver” Santiago since his last loss to Roman Morales back in 2012. That loss was a turning point in his career. Santiago recognized his weaknesses and worked to improve them with his brother Ricky by his side as his trainer.
The two have been together since day one and Ricky has a knack bringing out the best in a fighter. Santiago may not be the most powerful puncher out there, but he continues to improve on all aspects of the sweet science.
The road has been a long one for Santiago since the early days when he entered the gym to learn how to fight, today he sits on the cusp of greatness and has earned a shot at a world title.