Francisco Santana

Weightclass: Welterweight

  • 24wins

  • 6losses

  • 1draws

  • 12kos

Santa Barbara, California
Frank Espinoza
Joseph “Hoss” Janik

Francisco “Chia” Santana

At the age of 30, Francisco is an 11-year pro. A contender at 147 pounds, he has an aggressive, all-action style and is a fan favorite in Southern California.

He signed with manager Frank Espinoza in February, 2016.

Francisco has fought very good opposition since early in his career. Beginning in his ninth pro fight in March, 2008, five of of his next eight opponents were talented, undefeated prospects, and the other three were tough young veterans. It wasn’t all smooth sailing – Francisco was 4-3-1 in those fights. His last loss in that stretch was by eight-round unanimous decision against rising prospect Jermell Charlo – it was a very close fight that many observers thought Francisco deserved to win.

Francisco won 10 fights in a row after that which included one of his career-best wins – a 10-round unanimous decision against the heavily favored previously undefeated prospect Eddie Gomez on June 6, 2014.

In his last fight on April 22 in Carson, California, he lost a 10-round unanimous decision against Mahonri Montes.’s David A. Avila reported from ringside [excerpts]: Mahonri Montes knocked down Santa Barbara’s Francisco Santana, and that proved to be the difference in a split decision win that went 10 tightly contested rounds in the welterweight fight.

Santana was floored in the fifth round by a left hook that looked like a slip but it came after a punch and was counted. From that point on Santana changed the momentum and began pressuring the pressure fighter Montes but it was not enough to win the fight.

One judge scored it 97-92 for Santana, the other two saw it 96-94 and 95-94 for Montes. [End Avila item]

Francisco said, “I’m always in the gym, sparring a little bit, helping a few people out with sparring and training. I’m a gym-boy. I train at my coach’s gym, the KnuckleHeadz Gym in Ventura, California, and I go to the Wild Card for sparring.

“I always stay in shape. I’m not the kind of fighter that gets away and gets out of shape, then has to get back into it. I’m always pretty low on weight.

“I’m always learning different things. My style is that I can adapt to any kind of style. I feel that my style is unique. I don’t really like to imitate any other person’s style. I just like to do my thing – box, I can bang when I have to, fight on the inside, outside, do angles when I have to. So, I do a little bit of everything.”

“I never wanted soft touches when I started. I’m the kind of guy that never says ‘no’ to anything. Those were just the fights that they presented to me, and I just said, ‘yeah.’ I like to call myself a throw-back fighter – I’ll fight anybody, no picking and choosing. Back in the good old days, people would fight everybody, fight the best. When a fight comes up, I’m like, ‘Sure, why not?’ A fight is a fight. When you face adversity in a fight, you learn how to work around it and persevere.

“I think having those fights early on put me where I am today.”

“My friends call me ‘Chia’ – like a Chia Pet – ’cause of my wild hair. My hair just grows extremely fast all the time. Nobody in the boxing world knows me by my real name – they just know me as Chia.”

fight history

  • 2006

    Fight by Fight – On 11-17-06 in San Jacinto, CA, he won a 4 round unanimous decision against Danny Jevic (7-9-2): it was a fast-paced, exciting fight; both gave good efforts and some rounds were close, but Francisco was generally a little busier and sharper; scored 40-36, 40-36, 39-37…

    On 5-18-06 in San Jose he won a 4 round unanimous decision against Jovanni Rubio (6-6): Francisco dominated the fight; he scored a knockdown in the 1st round, then scored another knockdown in the 2nd; scored 40-34 on all three scorecards…

    On 4-14-06 in Rancho Mirage, CA, he won by knockout (2nd round, 2:38) against Willie Williams (0-2)…

    On 3-23-06 in San Jose he won by knockout (1st round) against Jesus Alvarado (0-3): in the 1st round…

    He debuted at the age of 19 on 11-17-05 in San Jose and won by knockout (1st round, 1:44) against Boris Ramos (aka Alex Ramirez; 0-2)…

  • 2007

    Fight by Fight – On 12-6-07 in Lemoore, CA, he won by TKO (4th round, 2:37) against Ben Aragon (6-7-1): after three rounds, Francisco led by scores of 30-27 on all three scorecards

    On 11-8-07 in San Jose, CA, he won a 4 round majority decision against Leshon Sims (5-6): Sims scored a knockdown with a left hook in the 3rd round, but Francisco dominated most of the fight and won by scores of 39-37, 39-38, 38-38…

    On 5-4-07 in Las Vegas, NV, he won a 4 round unanimous decision against Lester Balmores (3-6-1): Francisco dominated the fight and shut out Balmores 40-35 on all three scorecards…

  • 2008

    Fight by Fight – On 7-16-08 in Temecula he won by knockout (4th round) against Alejandro Bogarin (8-5-3): the bout was on the undercard of the James Toney-Hasim Rahman main event, and Francisco dominated the fight; he scored a knockdown with a right hand in the 1st round; he scored another knockdown with a left hook to the body in the 4th, and the referee stopped the fight in mid-count at 2:34; after three rounds, Francisco led by scores of 30-26 on all three scorecards…

    On 3-20-08 in San Jose, CA, he lost a 6 round split decision against local favorite Karim Mayfield (5-0-1): the bout was on the undercard of the Andre Ward-Rubin Williams main event; Mayfield, from nearby San Francisco, outworked Francisco and dominated the first three rounds, but Francisco staggered him with a left hook in the 4th round and rallied in the 5th; Mayfield came back strongly in the 6th round and won by scores of 58-56, 58-56 Mayfield, 58-56 Santana…