Prefer your boxing served up like a sampler platter, so you can enjoy a little taste of everything? Then you might want to consider clearing your calendar on February 16.
A pugilism feast spread across a variety of weight classes is on tap that night, highlighted by a 118-pound clash between West Coast rivals Alexis Santiago (20-3-1, 8 KOs) and Erik Ruiz (15-4, 6 KOs). In addition to that scheduled 10-round bout, a pair of eight-round contests are on tap, as Lionell Thompson (16-3, 10 KOs) squares off against Paul Parker (7-1, 4 KOs) in a 175-pound brawl, and Lanell Bellows (14-1-1, 7 KOs) faces Antowyan Aikens (10-0-1, 1 KO) in a 168-pound battle.
The trio of fights will be part of Fox Sports 1’s Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays card from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Santiago will bring a nine-fight winning streak into his showdown with Ruiz, having most recently defeated Gustavo Molina via eight-round unanimous decision on October 14 in Glendale, Arizona, not far from the 25-year-old’s home in Phoenix.
Santiago’s current run of success dates back to November 2012, with the most impressive victory coming in February 2014, when he earned a 10-round unanimous decision over Hanzel Martinez, who was 20-1 entering the fight.
Ruiz is coming off a very active, yet up-and-down 2015, when he lost three of five fights. However, he capped his year on November 20 by winning an eight-round split decision over previously undefeated Roy Tapia. The 24-year-old Oxnard, California, resident entered last year 13-1.
Like Santiago, Thompson most recently fought on October 14 in Glendale, Arizona, where he scored a second-round stoppage of Thomas Hanshaw in his only fight last year. The 30-year-old native of Buffalo, New York, has won four of his last five contests, the only blemish being a split-decision loss to unbeaten Radivoje Kalajdzic in March 2014.
In Parker, Thompson will be facing an opponent who is coming off his first defeat, a third-round TKO in June at the hands of unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. In that bout, the 30-year-old Parker dropped Shabranskyy twice in Round 1 but was unable to finish him off.
Bellows has ripped off eight consecutive victories, with four of those coming last year. The most recent was an eight-round unanimous decision over Michael Gbenga on December 12. The 30-year-old Las Vegas resident figures to have the home crowd on his side against Aikens, who will make the trek from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Aikens started his career 10-0 before fighting Tahir Thomas to a six-round draw in his last outing on November 20 in Philadelphia.
For complete coverage of Santiago vs Ruiz, visit our fight page.