Daniel Santos will make his first defense of the WBA super welterweight championship he won in July when he faces interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez on Feb. 14. The addition of the Santos-Martinez world championship to the previously announced HBO-televised card promoted by Don King Productions makes for a smashing tripleheader. The event already features WBO and IBF lightweight champion Nate “Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs) opposing his IBF No. 1-Ranked mandatory challenger Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka as well as another intriguing 154-pound pairing of former three-time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (28-7-1, 22 KOs) and undefeated WBC No. 3-ranked Alfredo “Perro” Angulo squaring off in a WBC elimination bout to determine the No. 1 ranking and become mandatory challenger.
On Monday, Santos (32-3-1, 23 KOs) was offered the opportunity to step in to replace Joe Greene, who had been scheduled to face Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs) in the HBO-televised co-feature being presented on Jan. 17 with Andre Berto vs. Luis Collazo in the main event from Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss. Greene pulled out due to a kidney stone ailment.
Santos’s attorney Gabriel Penagaricano advised Don King Productions that 10 days was not enough time for Santos to adequately train and prepare to make a Jan. 17 appearance.
“I couldn’t have agreed more with Gabriel for not taking that fight on such short notice,” King said, “but I had an obligation to run it by him. Danny has worked hard to gain another world title, and even though Gabriel had just corresponded with me to advise of Danny’s desire to return to the ring, 10 days of preparation was not adequate. I am delighted we can move the same fight to Feb. 14 in order to give Danny the time he needs to be ready.”
Boxing fans can rejoice in knowing they’ll have the opportunity to see the return of crowd favorite Nate Campbell risking both of his lightweight world championships in a unification match and also a decisive night in the 154-pound division with a world championship and an elimination bout.