Jeo Santisima will try to pull off a Manny Pacquiao-sized upset when the Masbate fighter climbs the ring against world super-bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete of Mexico in Las Vegas on Sunday (Manila time).
The fight is in the undercard of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight title match.
Viewed as a massive underdog, Santisima said he will use as inspiration his idol's shock win against South African world champion Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001.
“I’m going to be like Manny Pacquiao and win a world title in my first fight in the US. Achieving that is a huge motivation for me. It’s an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of,” Santisima said in an article posted on PhilBoxing.com.
Santisima and Navarrete both came in at the super-bantam weight limit of 122 lbs during their weigh-in Saturday.
Navarrete, who holds the World Boxing Organization belt, has a record of 30-1, 26 wins by knockout. He last tasted defeat in 2012 after being outpointed by Daniel Argueta.
Santisima (19-2, 16 KOs) is riding a 17-fight winning streak and aims to extend his run against his volume-punching opponent.
Navarrete said: "I'm going for another knockout victory and after that I would like to unify. If that doesn't happen, I'll probably move up to challenge the champions at featherweight. I want to be a global superstar for the sport of boxing and I'm well on my way."
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