By Ron Valderrama/Ronatringside.com
Photo-Courtesy of Team Santiago
WBC (USNBC) and WBO NABO bantamweight champion Alexis “Beaver” Santiago (18-3-1, 8 KOs), has signed a contract with Mayweather Promotions today in Las Vegas. The Valley resident has stepped up his game the past couple of years and is determined to become a world champion.
Beaver will be managed by DeJuan Blake, a member of Mayweather’s team for well over a decade. If anyone knows the game of boxing, it’s Blake. He was personally selected by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and has mastered managing fighters in and out of the ring. It will give Beaver the best opportunity to face the best fighters in his quest to become champion.
Growing up in mostly a Hispanic neighborhood in Phoenix, Beaver had his share of street fights, but managed to bring it to the gym and make it count. Beaver and his brother Ricky quickly realized that Beaver had skill as a fighter. The brothers are close and Ricky has worked magic in Beaver’s career, working as manager, and in his corner. Ricky has a keen eye when it comes to boxing, he has worked hard at placing Beaver in the best possible situation for a fight.
It hasn’t come easy, Beaver has been tested as a fighter and has learned from his losses. His first loss was to Randy Caballero in 2011, the televised bout was on Caballero’s home turf of Indio, California. Although he lost to Caballero, Beaver did gain the respect of the hometown crowd and immediately went back to the gym, making adjustments and improvements.
What makes this kid one to watch is his skill in the ring, the chemistry between him and Ricky makes them as one. Beaver listens to Ricky between rounds and makes adjustments, something many fighters just don’t do. In his last few fights, it has been apparent that Beaver’s speed and power have much improved. Three of his last five bouts have brought him wins by knockout, his patience gives him the eye to spot opportunity, striking with blistering and deadly precision.
His career began in 2009 and he has never looked back, Beaver could have easily become a statistic and victim of the streets, but instead sits on the cusp of becoming a world champion. Teaming up with Mayweather Promotions and DeJuan Blake will give Beaver the tools needed to make him a household name.
In a conversation with Ricky Santiago today, he says Beaver will be fighting Sept. 8, in a bout possibly against Heriberto Delgado, although it’s not confirmed as of yet. Also, Ricky said Beaver will be training at the Mayweather Gym for now. What is confirmed, is that Beaver will fight on Sept. 8, and it will be on the undercard of the Austin Trout vs. Joey Hernandez main event at the Hollywood Palladium Theater in Los Angeles. The event is being presented by Premier Boxing Champions, and will be televised on Fox Sports 1 at 9 PM ET/ 6 PM PT.
For Santiago, he is one of many fighters to emerge from the Arizona boxing scene. It was just a few short years that Arizona boxing was simply dead, but lately Arizona has been producing a flock of talent that is bringing national attention.