Santiago, Bradley put unbeaten records on the line!


Santiago, Bradley put unbeaten records on the line!

A knockout winner and a fight fan’s dream, “Shobox: The New Generation” will conclude another fantastic year when promising undefeated featherweight Mario Santiago (16-0, 11 KOs) faces the streaking, always dangerous Salvador Garcia (14-3-2,1ND, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event Friday, Dec. 1, on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

In the co-feature, former amateur standout and highly touted unbeaten welterweight Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (16-0, 10 KOs) makes his anxiously awaited “ShoBox” debut against Jaime Rangel (30-9-1, 26 KOs) in an eight-round bout. The doubleheader will be promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

Santiago, of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is a rising star in the 126-pound division and is ranked No. 10 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 12 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF). The crowd-pleasing southpaw went 45-7 during an excellent amateur career; he was his country’s national champion at 119 pounds in 1998-99. From 1998-2000, he was a member of the Puerto Rican national team.

“As a pro, I am always striving to get to the next level and become the complete fighter I know I can be,” said Santiago, who will make his third “ShoBox’’ start. “You have not seen the best of me yet.”

Garcia, of Whittier, Calif., by way of East Los Angeles, is much better than his record indicates. Since resuming his career in September 2005, a guy always matched tough is 4-0-1 with one no decision. Garcia was a decided underdog in his last three fights against top up-and-comers but came away with two impressive upset wins. Two of the victories came against Puerto Rican prospects.

“I’ll fight anybody,” Garcia said. “I can’t afford to lose again. I fought two prospects the last year. Both thought they were going to beat me. They didn’t think I could fight. I won both easy. I can fight.”

Bradley, of Palm Springs, Calif., is ranked No. 11 (super lightweight) in the WBC. The talented, charismatic young man narrowly missed earning a berth on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, but he did not make many other mistakes in a stellar 140-bout amateur career. He was a two-time National Champion and won titles at the PAL National Tournament, the Under-19 National Tournament and the Jr. Golden Gloves Championship.

“I have waited a long time to fight on TV,” said the former WBC welterweight and junior welter Youth Champion, who has won his last four outings by knockout. “I am very excited about Dec. 1.”

 Rangel, of Cordoba, Colombia, has far more experience than Bradley, and once fought for a world title. This is his first start since he lost to tough Emanuel Burton Feb. 10, 2006, in Mashantucket, Conn.

Nick Charles (blow by blow) and Steve Farhood (analysis) will call the action from ringside. The executive producer of “ShoBox” is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing.