Santiago-Velázquez Title Eliminator added to Forrest-Baldomir Card

TACOMA, WA (July 4, 2007) -- Undefeated featherweight MARIO SANTIAGO will take his biggest step toward a world title when he takes on top-10 contender HÉCTOR VELÁZQUEZ in a 12-round WBC featherweight title elimination bout with the winner becoming the WBC's No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger in the featherweight division.. The Santiago-Velázquez rumble will be the co-feature on the July 28 world title card headlined by the Vernon Forrest-Carlos Baldomir WBC interim super welterweight championship. Promoted by Gary Shaw productions, in association with Brian Halquist Productions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions, the Forrest-Baldomir title tilt will be broadcast live from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:15 P.M. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast.)

Remaining tickets, priced from $50 to $250, are on sale at the Emerald Queen Casino Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets. To order online go to

"I don't think I have enjoyed working with a fighter more than Mario," said Shaw, who has promoted him since 2004. "Mario had fought only four or five times when I signed him and I have had the pleasure of watching him mature as a fighter inside the ring and as a role model outside the ring. He is very exciting to watch and I'm always intrigued to see how he breaks down an opponent. This is a VERY big test for Mario, but I know he is prepared for the challenge. Puerto Rico is on the verge of welcoming a new world champion."

Santiago (18-0, 13 KOs), from Ponce, Puerto Rico, has improved steadily under the tutelage of Evangelista Cotto. Santiago is riding a seven-bout victory by knockout streak which began in 2005. During that streak he captured the vacant WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation featherweight title and successfully defended it twice -- most recently against former world title challenger Daniel Attah (24-3-1) in March via a ninth-round TKO. He is currently world-rated No. 3 by the WBC and No. 5 by the WBA.

Velázquez (47-11-2, 33 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, is no stranger to big fights. He enters this fight enjoying a five-bout winning streak having gone undefeated in 2006 and 2007. His most notable victory during that streak was against Bobby Pacquiao, where he captured the ferocious Filipino's WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title. Velázquez is currently world-rated No. 7 by the WBC.

Article posted on 04.07.2007

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