BOSTON – Ryan Roach’s Fighter Locker has announced it has signed California super flyweight Rocco “So Cal Kid” Santomauro (20-1, 6 KOs) to an exclusive managerial contract.
The 33-year-old Santomauro, fighting out of Apple Valley, CA, is riding a 7-fight win streak since suffering his only loss as a professional to then 14-0 Diego De La Hoya nearly five years ago.
“I’m 33,” Santomauro said, but I definitely feel I’m in my prime. My skill level is at its best and I’m always improving. When it comes to getting in there with top guys, I’ve been in the ring with many world champions, outside of fights, and I’ve more than held my own. It’s all a matter of timing and I feel mine is here. I believe I’m very close to a major fight right now at super flyweight. It’s all a matter of getting myself in the right position and I feel like, right now, I have the right team to do so with Ryan Roach and Fighter Locker backing me.
“I signed a managerial contract with Ryan and his Fighter Locker because I knew it was a good move. After managing myself the last year and a half, I knew I needed trustworthy help to get to the next level. Ryan and I were friends on social media. I was aware he was signing fighters with Fighter Locker, so I began to watch and study him to see how he was with his fighters. Having liked what I saw – Ryan being there for his fighters and building a good relationship with him talking from time to time — we were able to come to an agreement to take me to that next level and get a major fight.”
“I’m excited to add such a veteran fight to our stable,” Roach commented. “Rocco checks all the boxes in terms of what a manager looks for in a fighter. He has great ring IQ. He’s fast with great defense, and Rocco a very energetic fighter. He is close to a world title shot; one or two more fights and we will be fighting top super flyweights. Rocco has what it takes to beat those guys.”
The son of an Italian father who wanted his son to be an “animal,” Rocco was born with a fighting spirt, aggressive in nature as a child, and inspired by Rocky Marciano. Rocco got into boxing, in large part, due to following in the footsteps of his older brother, who was a decorated amateur boxer. He first boxed because of his brother, then through a local boxing club in Hesperia (CA), in addition to practicing at home as he watched his favorite fighters on ESPN Classic.
Santomauro’s amateur career never really took off. He lived in an area with very little boxing, and needed to travel to box, which resulted in him deciding when he was older to take control of his boxing career by moving to Las Vegas. He developed his skills there and decided in 2009 to turn pro after suffering what he felt was a bad decision at the USA Nationals.
An energetic boxer who is a smart, aggressive counter puncher, Santomauro also checks in on the body, and brings excitement into the ring. His best fight to date was his most recent (Nov. 7, 2020), when he stopped Christian Omar Henriques (10-4-2) in the sixth round of their fight in Tijuana.
“I was backed by Fighter Locker and my team,” Rocco noted. “I went in focused and mentally trained properly to do what I had to do against a game, younger opponent with a winning record. I knocked him out! We did it intelligently and were able to hit all the marks performance-wise.”
Training and fighting during a pandemic have been challenging, to say the least, and being a super flyweight only compounds the problem.
“It’s been very difficult getting fights as an American super flyweight,” Santomauro added, “especially coming down in weight from featherweight and then junior featherweight. Nobody was willing to give me the opportunity, nor did they think I could fight at that weight class having debuted as a junior lightweight. I was basically put on the shelf, turned down left and right as a free agent with 14-1 record at that time. I reached a 1 ½ year layoff, getting only lowball offers against short notice opponents. My trainer, Julian Chua, and I decided it would be smart to start fighting in Mexico, where there were super flyweights to fight.
“Training during the pandemic has been absolute hell for me, closed out of almost all gyms but grateful for being able to visit, from time to time, the Wild Card Boxing Gym and Churchill Boxing Club. But that wasn’t what I was used to. I had to do a lot of what I call ‘Rocky 4’ training on my own to stay fit. I was also lucky enough to build good relationships in Mexico with my promoter, so I was blessed to always have the option of staying busy in Tijuana. And I did.”
Now, Roach and Fighter Locker have Santomauro’s back, and his future is promising.
Fighter Locker’s growing stable of gifted boxers includes, Troy, NY ABF American West super lightweight Ray Jay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (12-0, 9 KOs), Toronto, Canada welterweight West Haven, CT super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (16-5-2, 5 KOs), super middleweight “The Amazing” Shawn McCalman (6-0, 4 KOs), U.S. Army super bantamweight Daniel Bailey, Jr. (2-0, 1 KO), lightweight Leonel de los Santos (2-0, 2 KOs),, a2-time Dominican Republic Olympian, pro-debuting Boston featherweight Troy Anderson, Jr., pro-debuting Dominican Republic welterweight Juan Solano, and Salt Lake City, Utah brothers, super lightweight Ignacio Chairez (7-0-1, 4 KOs) and lightweight Gabriel Chairez (3-0, 2 KOs).
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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