LAS VEGAS (June 22, 2021) — After a close call in his last fight, Giovani Santillan is set to add to his name to the ranks of the top welterweight contenders. Santillan will return from a yearlong layoff to fight seasoned pro Cecil McCalla in a crossroads battle scheduled for eight or 10 rounds this Saturday, June 26 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Santillan-McCalla will be among the undercard bouts streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.
The return of former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko in a 12-round lightweight bout against Masayoshi Nakatani, and a 10-round middleweight contest between unbeaten sensation Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly and former world champion Rob “Bravo” Brant will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $75 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
The San Diego-born Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) developed his craft on the Southern California club show circuit, and the 29-year-old is now a welterweight contender closing in on a world title opportunity. He last fought on June 16, 2020, escaping via majority decision over former lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco in a pitched two-way battle. It represented the closest call of the southpaw’s career, and he hopes to put forth a more dominating effort against McCalla (23-4, 10 KOs), a 13-year pro who has never been stopped in the paid ranks. McCalla, from Maryland, has won two straight bouts since a decision defeat to Madiyar Ashkeyev.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
Heavyweight knockout artist Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, makes his return against Marlon Williams (6-1, 3 KOs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Vianello hopes to bounce back from last October’s draw to Bubble fan-favorite Kingsley Ibeh.
Bantamweight puncher Robert “Biggie” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KOs), who shined with a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, will fight Mexican veteran Luis Fernando Saavedra (8-6, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Saavedra last fought in February 2019, when he bested the previously undefeated Mario Hernandez over eight rounds.
One of Japan’s most promising young fighters, Subaru Murata, will make his professional debut in a four-round junior featherweight tilt against Keven Monroy (1-1, 1 KO). Murata had a reported 68-12 amateur record and defeated the likes of undefeated bantamweight contender Lee McGregor.
Flashy bantamweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (1-0), who turned pro in February, returns against fellow unbeaten Jaime Jasso (2-0) in a four-rounder. Diaz, from Las Vegas, was mentored by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as an amateur and is managed by James Prince.
About Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is a reimagined and re-conceptualized casino resort. The property is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The integrated resort intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture and features three hotel towers totaling over 1,500 Chambers and suites; the 60,000 sq. ft. Mohegan Sun Casino, operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment; a five-acre desert pool oasis including a multi-functional event lawn; live music and entertainment theater with 4,500 capacity; 24 Oxford showroom accommodating 650 guests; an exclusive portfolio of twelve food and beverage venues including Todd English’s Olives, Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market, the legendary Nobu, Michael and David Morton’s One Steakhouse, Kassi Beach House from restauranteur Nick Mathers, Casa Calavera by global hospitality company Hakkasan Group, the sports entertainment, daylife and nightlife venue Money, Baby! from Justin Massei and Mikis Troyan of Clive Collective, famous Afters Ice Cream, Pizza Forte by the Ferraro Family and signature Virgin Hotels restaurants and bars including The Kitchen at Commons Club, The Bar at Commons Club, The Shag Room and Funny Library Coffee Shop. The property is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners, Virgin Group, LiUNA, Fengate Asset Management, Dream and Orlando Development. The off-Strip playground is located at 4455 Paradise Road. For more information, visit www.virginhotelslv.com.
About Virgin Hotels Virgin Hotels is a lifestyle hospitality brand that combines heartfelt service, straightforward value, and a seamless, personalized hotel experience with the track record of innovation and smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group has pioneered for 50 years. Each property intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture, fusing with the local landscape and providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for travelers and locals alike. Virgin Hotels Chicago – named the “#1 Hotel in the United States” in 2016 and “#1 Hotel in Chicago” in 2016, 2017, and 2020 by the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Virgin Hotels Dallas – named the “#16 Hotel in Texas” – Virgin Hotels Nashville and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas are now open. Locations in New York, New Orleans, Miami, Edinburgh and Glasgow to follow. Virgin Hotels continues to explore hotel and office conversions and ground-up development in Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, and London.
About Curio Collection by Hilton Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of nearly 100 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts. Curio Collection properties offer travelers authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and elevated amenities, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. Read the latest brand and hotel stories at newsroom.hilton.com/curio, and connect with Curio Collection on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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