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Sweet 16

'The Bull' takes unanimous decision over Santiago, improves to 16-0-1

April 29, 2012
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor ( , Salem News

CHESTER, W. Va. - Saturday night, Jake Giuriceo reminded people why he earned the nickname "The Bull."

Giuriceo was on the offensive for eight rounds landing numerous punching combinations en route to a unanimous decision over Denver's Juan Santiago at The Harv at Mountaineer Casino and Resort.

"I felt like 'The Bull' showed up for sure," Giuriceo said.

Article Photos

Jake Giuriceo has his hand raised in victory after
defeating Juan Santiago Saturday at Mountaineer Casino and Resort in Chester, W. Va. The win improved his record to 16-0-1. (Salem News/B.J. Lisko)

Giuriceo (16-0-1, 3 KO) was on Santiago all night. His never-let-up style of boxing has overwhelmed previous opponents, and Santiago was no exception.

"When you just keep coming forward it tends to break a guy's will," Giuriceo said. "I've always been taught if they tie you up, you still got another hand free to punch, so that's what I do. Everything was working right."

Giuriceo was firmly in control and despite the non-stop action of the fight - something "The Bull" is garnering attention for - Santiago (13-9-1, 4 KO) had a hard time landing much.

"My head movement and defense was great," Giuriceo said. "I was moving really good around the ring. I don't even have a mark on my face. I wasn't wasting punches either. I didn't lose any of the boxing side of it. It all stayed there."

Since turning professional, Giuriceo has come a long way. After starting with trainer Keith Burnside of Burnside Boxing, he honed his ring skills in California with the help of former bantamweight contender Franke Duarte.

For Saturday's fight though, Giuriceo stayed close to home and Burnside helped him come full circle with more of a focus on power.

"I was just a fighter (before)," Giuriceo said of getting his start. "Now that we have that boxing, I can get back to working with Keith and just use everything. It's all coming together. It's beautiful."

While a knockout may have silenced a few of Giuriceo's critics, Santiago is known for his durability.

"He hit the guy a lot of times," boxing great and Saturday's fight promoter Roy Jones Jr. said in an interview with "Usually in pro boxing some guys can take it, but I think if we work on him turning his body a little bit more, he'll knock them out."

Giuriceo said Santiago was one of his toughest opponents.

"There was a few times I could feel the way my hand was hitting him and I knew I was connecting good because his head was flying back," Giuriceo said. "He took every one of them. He was tough."

Giuriceo was also happy to get input from the former champ.

"He said he was very impressed with me," Giuriceo said. "We got a lot of really good feedback."

Saturday was arguably the most impressive showing Giuriceo has had in a few fights. Afterwards he said he never felt so good in the ring.

"I just absolutely felt 100 percent," Giuriceo said. "I think it's awesome I can keep making these steps," he said. "Lord willing I can keep going and keep getting opportunities."

Giuriceo upped his record to 16-0-1, and the impressive performance in front Roy Jones Jr. and TNT Promotions could very well land him some quality dates in the future.

For now though, he's only focused on May 20 - when he'll marry Campbell native Jaclyn Mazias.

"I'm just going to worry about getting married now," he said. "That's the only thing I'm really looking forward to right now. We're going to spend a week in Jamaica. It's time to relax a little bit."

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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