This past weekend, Mike Coppinger revealed that WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete would make his first title defense of 2020 on the February 22nd Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II pay-per-view undercard. Now, he’s revealed “Vaquero’s” opponent: #5 contender Jeo Tupas Santisima.
Santisima (19-2, 16 KO) is a 23-year-old in the midst of a 17-fight winning streak, having last tasted defeat in 2014 just before his 18th birthday. “Santino” has never fought outside of his native Philippines or faced any top-tier competition; the most notable scalp he’s claimed belongs to former OPBF super flyweight champ Rene Dacquel, who had lost his last three.
It’s yet another underwhelming defense for Navarrete (30-1, 26 KO), who followed his brutal duology with beatdowns of Francisco de Vaca, Juan Miguel Elorde, and Francisco Horta. In his defense, though, it technically hasn’t even been a year since the Dogboe rematch. If I had to choose between a champion taking huge breaks between meaningful fights and a champion squashing someone every couple months, I’d take the latter.
His next major opponent will probably be whoever wins in the WBO eliminator between Arnold Khegai and Stephen Fulton later this month.
The pay-per-view main card remains incomplete, though there has been talk of Sergey Lipinets facing Kudratillo Abdukakhorov for the interim IBF welterweight title.