UP-AND-COMER Alex Santisima Jr. gets the biggest opportunity of his young career as he takes on Japanese Subaru Murata on March 3, 2024 in Japan.
“He’s excited. It’s a good sign because he’s very excited to win,” Santisima Jr.’s coach Michael Domingo told SunStar Cebu.
Santisima Jr. has shown a lot of promise in his first three years in the pro ranks. He turned pro at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 with a fourth round technical knockout of Jay-ar Arnates in Talisay City.
Santisima Jr. was blazing hot the following year and won all four of his fights, including a split decision over veteran former ALA Boy Jess Rhey Waminal.
Last year, Santisima Jr. won all three of his fights. He outclassed previously undefeated Arnel Buyoc to win the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) super bantamweight crown in San Juan City. He also defeated experienced fighters Renan Portes and Ramel Antaran.
Santisima Jr. will be fighting his first fight outside the Philippines and his first foreign opponent against Murata.
Santisima Jr. is deep in training at the ZIP Boxing Wellness and Wellness Center and has been sparring with his brothers Jeo and Gabriel Santisima, Japanese Kento Hatanaka and Omega Boxing Gym’s Ramil Roda.
“He’s doing well in training. He’s been sparring with KJ, Jeo, Gabriel, Kento and Roda of the Omega Boxing Gym. The fight is still in March so we still have time to prepare well for this fight,” said Domingo.
The 27-year-old Murata was a decorated amateur and fought in the AIBA Championships, the AIBA Youth World Championships and the Junior Olympics. He finished his amateur career with 68 wins and 12 losses before turning pro in 2021.
Murata had an impressive pro debut and stopped Kevon Monroy in the second round in the US. He had two fights in Japan the following year, stopping Pinoy fighters John Mark Tihuk and Marvillo Aballe.
In 2023, Murata made his way back to the US and destroyed Jose Negrete and Juan Centeno in the first and third rounds, respectively.
Santisima Jr. is 8-0 with two knockouts, while Murata is 5-0 with five knockouts. / EKA