The legendary Nonito Donaire, poised for a spot in the Hall of Fame, will face off against Mexico’s Alexandro Santiago. They will compete for the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Title. This fight will be part of the Spence vs. Crawford Showtime PPV® undercard and will take place on Saturday, July 29.
In addition, promising young fighter Yoenis Tellez is set to take on Spanish contender Sergio Garcia. This fight will kick off the pay-per-view telecast, starting at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
Due to injuries, Jesus Ramos Jr. and Viktor Faust had to pull out from their respective matches.
The Donaire vs. Santiago fight, which was originally scheduled to take place July 15, will be the second fight of the pay-per-view. The previously announced Gurgen Hovhannisyan vs. Viktor Faust bout was removed after Faust was forced to withdraw because of a back injury.
The pay-per-view begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and also features hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz facing unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera in a 12-round WBC and WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TBC Promotions and TGB Promotions, are available through AXS.com.
One of the sport’s most accomplished active fighters, Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) has captured titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight. He will look to make another run at bantamweight after capturing the title with a May 2021 knockout of Nordine Oubaali and eventually a defeat to Naoya Inoue in their June 2022 rematch. Representing his native Talibon, Bohol, Philippines, Donaire’s previous campaign at bantamweight began in 2018 by upsetting then unbeaten champion Ryan Burnett in his hometown to capture a title once again, before eventually dropping the belt in the 2019 Fight of the Year in his first matchup against Inoue.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to become a world champion once again on an already historic night for boxing,” said Donaire. “I’m thankful to my team for this opportunity and I’m going to do everything I can to make the most of it. We’re working really hard on defense and being as fast as possible. It’s been an amazing camp and I can’t wait to get in the ring.”
A native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs) will compete for a bantamweight crown for the first time in his career on July 15, as he enters this fight on a three-bout winning streak since a majority decision loss to Gary Antonio Russell in November 2021. The 27-year-old had previously fought for a 115-pound championship in September 2018, battling Jerwin Ancajas to a split-draw. Santiago most recently avenged one of the draws on his record, as he stopped Antonio Nieves in seven rounds last October.
“I have been waiting five years to get another world title opportunity, so another two weeks is nothing,” said Santiago. “I’m still focused and working hard. The objective and target is still the same. I’m very fortunate and would like to thank my team for this great opportunity to be part of such an amazing event on July 29.”
The 23-year-old Tellez (5-0, 4 KOs) is the latest young standout from boxing-rich Cuba looking to make a splash early in the pro ranks. A native of Santiago de Cuba, Tellez now trains in Stafford, Texas with Shields and first turned pro in June 2020. Tellez has already scored two victories in 2023, including most recently earning a shutout unanimous decision over Cameron Krael in May.
“I’m super excited to be a part of this huge event,” said Tellez. “Spence vs. Crawford is the best fight in boxing and it is a blessing to be part of this big night and facing a legit top-10 contender in Sergio Garcia. I look forward to boxing fans seeing a new star of the super welterweight division. I can’t wait to shine under the bright lights!”
Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs) returned to the ring in April to defeat Ricardo Sebastian Cabana before he steps into the ring for his third stateside bout on July 29. His only career defeats have come via decision as he dropped a December 2021 bout against top contender Sebastian Fundora and an April 2022 clash against former world champion Tony Harrison. Fighting out of Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain, the 30-year-old has competed professionally since 2012. He ascended the rankings by traveling to the U.K. to defeat then unbeaten Ted Cheeseman on his home soil in 2019 and followed that up with a triumph over veteran contender Sergey Rabchenko.
“I’m very thankful to my team for keeping me on this exceptional card,” said Garcia. “I’m very happy to be able to show my boxing skills to the whole world. It is very unfortunate what happened to Rams, but these things happen in boxing. Now I’m facing Tellez, who is at a much higher level than his record shows. He’s a great fighter and I’m going to give it my all to beat him. I know that a good performance on a big card in the U.S. will put me right on the doorstep of a world title.”
The card will also see lightweights Jabín Chollet and Michael Portales duel in a six-round bout, unbeaten prospects Justin Viloria and Pedro Borgaro battling in a six-round super featherweight fight, lightweight prospect Demler Zamora in an eight-round showdown against Nikolai Buzolin and welterweight power-puncher Kevin Ventura facing DeShawn Prather in a six-round attraction.
The pay-per-view telecast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features Mexican fan-favorite Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz facing unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera in a 12-round WBC and WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event, plus future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire takes on Mexican contender Alexandro Santiago for the vacant WBC Bantamweight Title. The pay-per-view opens up with top prospect Yoenis Téllez dueling Spanish contender Sergio García in a 10-round super welterweight attraction.
Prior to the pay-per-view, live streaming action will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page and see undefeated 168-pound contender Steven Nelson take on Rowdy Legend Montgomery in a 10-round showdown, plus Mexican super bantamweight prospect José Salas Reyes faces former world title challenger Aston Palicte in a 10-round bout.
Fighting out of his native San Diego, Chollet (7-0, 6 KOs) went the distance for the first time as a pro the last time he entered the ring, scoring a shutout of Daniel Perales in May. The 21-year-old has already fought three times in 2023 and will step up in competition when he faces Hayward, California’s Portales (3-1-1, 1 KO). The 26-year-old Portales bounced back from his first career defeat, which took place in February, to earn a unanimous decision over Margarito Hernandez in April.
The 18-year-old Viloria (2-0, 2 KOs) turned pro in April and has delivered a pair of stoppages in each of his first two matchups. The Whittier, California-native most recently stopped Pedro Pinillo in four rounds in May. He’ll step in against the 18-year-old Borgaro (4-0, 2 KOs), who represents Sonora, Mexico and made a successful U.S. debut in July by stopping Martin Cardona in two rounds.
The 20-year-old Zamora (11-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in 2019 as a teenager and delivered knockouts in eight of his first nine matchups. The Las Vegas-native has fought in his hometown twice previously as a pro, including his most recent outing that saw him KO Jesus Ibarra in March. He will be opposed by the Brooklyn-based Buzolin (9-4-1, 5 KOs), who’s only defeats have come against previously unbeaten fighters. In his last fight, Buzolin knocked out Gonzalo Carlos Dallera in three rounds in July 2022.
A training partner of Terence Crawford, Ventura (11-0, 8 KOs) fights out of Omaha, Nebraska and will compete in Las Vegas for the first time as a pro on July 29. The 26-year-old returned to the ring off of a four-year layoff in September 2022, emerging victorious via unanimous decision over Gilbert Venegas. He will face the 25-year-old Prather (15-1, 2 KOs), who made a successful 2023 debut by earning a decision over Brandon Clark in February. The Kansas City, Missouri-native turned pro in May 2018 and is unbeaten since a one-point decision loss in his second pro fight.