Rev “Gentle Giant” Santillan will enter into his Japanese challenger’s home territory for the sixth time with his Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) welterweight title is at stake. The 5-foot-11 native of Iloilo iThe Philippines is slated to risk his crown against 5-foot-10 Kazuhiko Hidaka on March 19 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Santillan, a two-time owner of a regional title in the 147-pound category, has 3-1-1 win-loss-draw OPBF title bout record against Japanese opponents – three times against Hiroshi Watanabe.
The Cebu-based southpaw regained the crown from his year 2002 conqueror Watanabe via split decision win in their grudge bout in April in Komaki. Their first encounter in August 2001 in Nagoya resulted in a split draw.
Last August 7 at Prefectural Gym in Osaka, the 27-year old Santillan retained the belt for the first time by dominating another Japanese challenger Taisei Marumoto.
Hidaka, rated No. 7 by the OPBF, is a 26-year old southpaw with 14 knockout victims in 20 victories against four loses. His only experienced in title bout was a debacle in October 2003 when he was knocked out in the 8th round by then Japanese welterweight champ Crazy Kim, who is now the reigning OPBF super-welterweight boss.
Santillan who is fighting out of Rex “Wakee” Salud Stable of Cebu City, has a menacing 21-1-1 win-loss-draw record with 15 knockouts in his nine-year campaign in the paid ranks.
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