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Broner vs Santiago: Jovanie Santiago looking to make statement in breakout opportunity

Santiago gets his shot at the big stage this weekend on Showtime.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Before you ask, we don’t seem to have a licensed photograph of the little-known Jovanie Santiago, who will be challenging former titleholder Adrien Broner in this weekend’s Showtime main event. But despite being unheralded, Santiago tells RingTV that he’s plenty comfortable in that role, and expects that many more people will know who he is after he handles his business in the ring.

In particular Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) says that all the pressure is on Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) to perform well while a win for himself will change the course of his life.

“It’s a great opportunity that they are giving me to face a four-division world champion. It is a great challenge for my career and the world will know me when I beat him. We are both in this sport working hard every day. (Broner) is a good fighter, (but) I don’t see anything special about him.”

Santiago, 31, certainly isn’t a youngin’ in the sport and if he’s going to make a move to the world stage, now is definitely the time. This bout against Broner will be his first outside of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and obviously the talent pool he’s facing here is above what he’s been accustomed to. But that was likely the entire point of Broner’s team selecting him as an opponent.

But Santiago is right about the pressure being on Broner in this outing, because if he falls short and loses, that could well spell the end for the Cincinnati native as a headlining attraction.

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