Puerto Rican welterweight Luis Santiago burst onto the Chicago boxing scene on April 1st with a thunderous pro debut, dropping William Bokhart three times in the first round on his way to a stoppage stunning the huge crowd at the UIC Pavilion.
The all-action 26 year old Santiago will return to the ring on Friday, May 20th in his second pro bout taking on St. Louis native Chris Holloman in a featured four round undercard bout at Windy City Fight Night 17.
Windy City Fight Night 17 is presented by Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions.
A native of Chicago’s rough and tumble Humboldt Park neighborhood, Santiago was an amateur standout posting a record of 66 and 12.
Speaking about his pro debut, Santiago stated, ‘I was a little nervous, it was my first time fighting with no head gear and smaller gloves. But once I got hit that all went away. He was awkward and a southpaw, but once I hit him with a body shot I felt a lot better.”
“I’m excited to return this Friday night. I’ve got a lot of support and should have a pretty big crowd there to see me.”
Santiago, a boxing historian who counts Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bernard Hopkins as his favorites, is guided by longtime Chicago based trainer George Hernandez.
Among those impressed by Santiago’s pro debut was promoter Dominic Pesoli.
“Luis was excitement personified. The crowd at the UIC Pavilion really took to him in his pro debut. It was a terrific performance and we’re very happy to bring him back on May 20th” said Pesoli.
“Boxing fans are always looking for future stars and Luis is certainly in that mold. He’s a young kid who brings a real attitude to the ring and has terrific punching power to boot. Dressed in black with very sharp tattoos he makes quite the statement even before the bell rings.”
Windy City Fight Night 17 is headlined by a ten round light heavyweight WBO/NABO Title Bout between Chicago’s Polish Prince Andrzej Fonfara and Anthony Russell of Brockton, Massachusetts.
Tickets for Windy City Fight Night 17, priced at $100, $75, $50 and $30 are now on sale through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com, the UIC Pavilion Boxing Office (312-413-5740) and the 8 Count Productions’ Office (312-226-5800).
Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7pm with the first bell at 8pm. The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Racine, just one block south of the Eisenhower Expressway. For further information, please visit their website at www.uicpavilion.com. The UIC Pavilion is now serving alcohol at all boxing events.