Edwin De Los Santos is a fighter many might have ignored or not heard about.
Fighting on smaller shows and undercards doesn’t diminish the hard and interesting journey De Los Santos has taken to a world title fight.
De Los Santos now is fighting for the vacant WBC lightweight world title against the man most proclaimed as the future pound-for-pound number-one fighter, Shakur Stevenson, on Thursday, November 16th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stevenson is an undefeated two-division world champion looking to claim a belt in his third weight as after he unified the super featherweight division, he had to vacate after he missed weight. De Los Santos has been largely overshadowed as the ever-popular, Frank Martin was originally thought to be the opponent for this fight but withdrew from the bout. De Los Santos is taking the chance, but given his low profile the enthusiasm around the fight wasn’t what it once was for the Martin fight.
Here are five key facts about Edwin De Los Santos that you should know before the fight.
He has only gone 48 rounds as a professional
As we enter into this fight, De Los Santos has not gone a ton of rounds as a professional. He has only gone 48 rounds, but eighteen of those rounds come from recent performances. His last fight a ten-round unanimous decision win over Joseph Adorno saw him accumulate experience and his lone professional loss, an eight-round split decision to William Foster made a good chunk of his pro experience.
Don’t get it confused he is fighting top-tier talent as three of his last four opponents were undefeated, and De Los Santos stopped two of them, Luis Acosta and Jose Valenzuela. The 24-year-old southpaw has one-punch KO power, which can be seen by the fact that he has fourteen wins out by way of knockout across seventeen pro fights which is an 87% knockout ratio.
When compared to Stevenson’s last four opponents' amount of ring experience it is startling. Shuichiro Yoshino had 93 rounds of experience before facing Stevenson, Robson Conceicao had 103 rounds of experience, Oscar Valdez had 192 rounds of experience and Jamel Herring had 162 rounds of experience. When looking strictly at the numbers De Los Santos is a lot less experienced as a pro compared to Stevenson’s recent opposition. Another way of looking at it, De Los Santos has legit one-punch KO power and this shows it.
He has the reach advantage
Something that has been mentioned much is that Edwin De Los Santos has a two-inch reach advantage over Shakur Stevenson as De Los Santos has the same reach as Conceicao did at 70”. Stevenson comes in at 68”.
That said reach alone won’t win the fight for De Los Santos as Herring and Conceicao both had reach advantages, but Stevenson's masterful ability to control distance or manipulate makes him a tricky fighter to try and exploit physical gifts. Given De Los Santos’ high knockout ratio and reach advantage this could set the stage for some intrigue as Stevenson might get caught in the crossfire of a big puncher at times.
His Only Career Loss Came in his U.S. Debut
De Los Santos’ lone career loss came in his first fight in the United States and his television debut on ShoBox: The Next Generation. De Los Santos and his team believe they defeated William Foster III, but the loss remains.
Before that bout, all of his fights had been in the Dominican Republic, and De Los Santos had only fought at super featherweight two times prior to facing Foster III. This loss might be looked back upon as an outlier and one during a great change in his life. De Los Santos was fighting in January 2022, which is one of the most unideal times to fight as you miss the delicious food of the holiday season.
It is worth noting that his first loss should have a footnote attached.
Undefeated At Lightweight
De Los Santos has never lost in the lightweight division which might be a better division for him. His confidence was also undeterred after losing to William Foster III as he took fights with undefeated Luis Acosta who he knocked out in two rounds and then got off the canvas to knockout Jose Valenzuela in three rounds.
A theme of De Los Santos is confidence. While a lot of fighters seem to be going in different directions to win a lightweight world title, it is clear as day that De Los Santos believes he can beat Shakur Stevenson, and his team with Sampson Lewkowicz promoting him, never lost faith in him as they have thrown him in tough since making his debut on U.S. TV. He is not just a puncher, though he isn’t the biggest thinker in the ring, he does think as we saw in the Joseph Adorno fight - and that makes him an interesting fighter.
Has Won As An Underdog
He is no stranger to being a massive underdog. When De Los Santos fought Jose Valenzuela people scoffed at his chances as he was an eight-to-one underdog. When he stopped Valenzuela it sent shockwaves through the boxing world as Valenzuela, who at the time was trained by Jose Benavidez Sr. was looked at as a future star of the division.
Though ‘Rayo’ Valenzuela is not Shakur Stevenson, the doubt that people had is similar. De Los Santos is not supposed to be where he is at, he had to earn. A promoter and network didn’t plan his path - his wins opened up the doors. This fight is very similar as De Los Santos appears to be coming to win and is not at all phased by doubt or doubters.