EVERYBODY had a rough year in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic claimed numerous lives all over the world, and sporting events were shut down for a moment before returning later in the year with strict health protocols.
After a tough year, one-time world title challenger Jeo Santisima is optimistic for a better 2021.
“Their (Sanman Promotions) plan for me is to fight in the US,” Santisima told SunStar Cebu. “I really don’t know yet when I will fight. Maybe in March because I need to renew my passport.”
Santisima got his biggest payday early in 2020 after getting a title shot against former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight king Emanuel Navarrete at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Santisima put on a gallant stand but was stopped in the 11th round on Feb. 22, 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Months after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, ALA Promotions and ALA Gym announced that they will cease their operations, making its fighters free agents.
Fortunately, Sanman Promotions picked up Santisima and other ALA Boys like Melvin Jerusalem, KJ Cataraja and Esneth Domingo.
Santisima had his first fight under the Sanman Promotions and ZIP banner on Dec. 17, in General Santos City. He scored an impressive second round knockout of prospect Marjon Piencenaves.
“Yes, I really want to fight for a world title again, and I believe I can get that because Sanman Promotions is very active,” said Santisima.
Sanman fighters were very active in the US event amid the pandemic — wherein the likes of Mike Plania, Mark Bernaldez, James Bacon, John Vincent Moralde and Reymart Gaballo were given fights.
Santisima hopes that he gets a world title shot in 2021 against WBO super bantamweight titleholder Angelo Leo.
“I want to fight the new world champion Angelo Leo,” he said. “I hope that he’ll choose me as his opponent (for a voluntary defense).”
Santisima is currently rated No. 8 in the WBO behind No. 7 Ricardo Franco, No, 6 Wasiru Mohammed, No. 5 Carlos Castro, No. 4 Thomas Patrick Ward, No. 3 Daniel Roman, No. 2 Michael Conlan and No. 1 Stephen Fulton.
Leo is scheduled to face Fulton on Jan. 23, 2021 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. / EKA