Undefeated contender Santander “Cha Cha” Silgado (23-0, 18 KOs) will become Havoc Boxing Promotions’ first world title challenger when he takes on World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (24-1, 18 KOs) this Saturday night (December 15) in Russia. Team Silgado departed today for Moscow.
Silgado, a seven-time National amateur champion in his native Colombia, Santander had nearly 200 amateur fights. Now fighting out of Brooklyn, WBC No. 6-rated Silgado is the reigning WBC FECARBOX and WBA Fedelatin cruiserweight champion.
Because most of his professional fights have been in South America – four of his last five have been in the U.S. – Silgado remains one of the best kept secrets in boxing, despite him knocking out 18 of his 23 opponents.
Trained by former world champion Kosta Tszyu, Lebedev has defeated future Hall of Famers James Toney and Roy Jones Jr., in addition to former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli and former European champion Alexander Alekseev. Lebedev’s lone loss as a professional was by a controversial 12-round split decision in 2010 to World Boxing Organization (WBO) cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck.
A year ago, Lebedev captured the interim WBA crown with a 12-round “shutout” decision over Toney, and he successfully defended that title this past April with a second-round knockout of Shawn Cox. The WBA eventually promoted Lebedev, who is ranked No. 4 by The Ring Magazine, to its World Champion when it downgraded Guillermo Jones to its “Champion in Recess.”
Silgado heading to Russia to take on Lebedev is like the Rocky IV storyline, in which, Rocky Balboa fought Ivan Drago, only this real fight features an unbeaten, Colombian Rocky.
“People don’t know too much about Santader Silgado because he’s not really battle-tested,” Diaz admitted. “The Russian has fought Toney, Jones and Huck. He has crushing power and Kosta Tszyu in his corner. And we’re going to Russia to fight him over there. I can tell you we weren’t too popular over there for the press conference and I don’t expect that to change before December 17th.
“Silgado hasn’t been in a fight of this magnitude, so I don’t know how he’ll respond, but we hope to turn the crowd’s energy to Santander’s advantage. We’ll see what type of fighter he is that night. I see him out-boxing the Russian and possibly knocking him out. That’s the game plan in place.”
Boxing clothing line Havoc Boxing is internationally known for creating and marketing its flashy, colorful trunks, robes and corner jackets, showcased by high-profile boxers such as unbeaten WBA Super and World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight champion Danny Garcia, newly crowned WBC lightweight title-holder Adrien Broner, and two-time World Champion Andre Berto, as well as past U.S. Olympians, Demetrius Andrade and Sadam Ali.
Havoc Boxing Promotions, however, is also a licensed New York boxing promoter and Silgado represents its first boxer in a world title fight.
“People think of New York City boxing promoters as Lou DiBella and Joe DeGuardia,” Silgado’s promoter Rob Diaz (Havoc Boxing Promotions CEO) said, “but there are also a lot of other boxing promoters here like Havoc Boxing. At this stage for Havoc Boxing to have a fighter in a world title fight is huge, especially when Santander wins to become a world champion, elevating Havoc Boxing into that elite level in New York City boxing.”