Thursday, April 14, 2016


Nickname: "Diamond"

    After an outstanding amateur boxing career, Florida's "Diamond" David Santos turned professional on Sept. 7, 1991 with a powerful first round tko over Cornell Harris.  He built a 15-0, 10 ko record before taking on Jeff Hanna to win the Florida State Jr. Lightweight Title via 2nd round tko.

   He pressed that record to 22-0, 15 ko's and got the shot against Rodrigo Cerda (15-1-1, 9 ko) for the USBA Featherweight Title.  Santos shined and took that title winning a 12 round decision.  He would successfully defend that title 2 times, the first against Patrick Simeon (19-8-2, 12 ko) and then against former WBC Continental Americas Featherweight Champion Shane Gannon (22-4, 7 ko) in Albuquerque, NM.  Santos won both defenses with first round ko's.

   Those impressive performances raised Santos' stock, and on April 5th 1997, he got a shot at the IBA Featherweight Championship against defending champion - Denver, CO's Max Gomez (16-7-1, 8 ko).  The fight was held in Albuquerque, NM and televised on Fox Sports Network the bout ended in a split decision victory on scores of 116-112 for Gomez, and 116-112 x 2 for the new IBA Champion - David Santos.  David never defended that title, he didn't lose it in the ring, but was, for whatever reason,  eventually stripped of it by the IBA.

   He fought a non-title bout against Enrique "Kiki" Valenzuela (16-11, 13 ko) winning handily, but severely injuring his hand during the bout.  It was an injury that would follow him for the rest of his career.
Santos being interviewed after Kiki Valenzuela bout in 1997

   It was over half a year before he would fight again, but he returned to the ring in Albuquerque New Mexico to challenge Lewis Wood (17-1, 6 ko) for his NABF Featherweight Title.  A close technical bout ended with Wood successfully defending his title belt via split decision handing Santos his 2nd pro defeat (the first being to Rafael Meran in 1996 also by split decision).

   "Diamond" David would run off a string of 6 wins, 5 by ko, and picking up the interim NABF Jr. Lightweight Title before getting a chance to square off against undefeated, defending interim WBA World Jr. Lightweight Champion  Joel Casamayor (19-0, 12 ko).  It was the legendary Cuban champion's night as he scored a unanimous decision win to defend his Interim World Title.

   After a 5th round stoppage of David Turner, Santos once again challenged for a USBA belt, this time the Jr. Lightweight version, but it wasn't his night as Steve Forbes (17-1, 4 ko) defended his title via unanimous decision.  Forbes would go on to become IBF Jr. Lightweight Champion of the world in his next bout.

   Santos was not finished.  He put together 4 straight wins against solid opponents and was named as one of the challengers for the now vacant USBA Jr. Lightweight title against Luis Lizarraga (31-26-3, 23 ko).  Santos won a very hard fought 12 round majority decision to claim the title.

   In his next bout David got a rematch against Steve Forbes (20-1, 5 ko) for the IBF Jr. Lightweight Title, but when Forbes failed to make weight, the IBF declared the title vacant and on the line only for Santos.  It would be not be David's night, as he was again defeated by Forbes, this time via Split Decision.

   His performance was good enough to keep him highly world ranked and earned him a shot at the vacant IBF Jr. Lightweight Title against Carlos "Famous" Hernandez (37-3-1, 23 ko).  It came down to a technical decision in round 8 as the scorecards all went to Hernandez.

   Santos ended his pro boxing career with 4 straight victories against solid opposition including former U.S. Olympian Sean Fletcher, former World Title Challenger Ivan Alvarez, and winning his final pro bout with an 8 round majority decision over former Panamanian Champion Armando Cordoba.

   David's pro boxing career spanned nearly 14 years, winning title belts along the way and gaining major respect in the ring.  He finished his career with an outstanding record of: 46 wins, only 6 defeats, and winning 29 by knockout.  Certainly one of Florida's great boxing champions. He was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall-of-Fame in 2013.
David with his cornerman "Fast" Freddie Nimphius Jr.

"Diamond" David Santos' entire Pro Ledger: Click HERE

Dan Sisneros with "Diamond" David Santos

If you would like to see Florida's David Santos in ring action, I have the following bouts available on DVD:

1. EDGAR GARCIA                                [tko-1]
2. RAFAEL MERAN-SOLER                  [L-10]
3. SHANE GANNON                              [tko-1] {USBA Feather Title}
4. MAX GOMEZ                                      [w-12] {IBA Feather Title}
5. ENRIQUE "Kiki" VALENZUELA        [w-10]
6. LEWIS WOOD                                    [L-12] {NABF Feather Title}
7. ARTURO ESTRADA                           [tko-7]
8. JOEL CASAMAYOR                           [L-12] {Interim WBA Jr. Light Title}
9. STEVE FORBES #1                           [L-12] {USBA Jr. Light Title}
10. STEVE FORBES #2                            [L-12] {IBF Jr. Light Title}
11. CARLOS "Famous" HERNANDEZ     [L-TD-8] {Vacant IBF Jr. Light Title}

1. Julian "Balone" Ramirez

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