By Jake Donovan
Red hot prospect Leo Santa Cruz scored his seventh straight knockout on Saturday evening, turning back the challenge of former title challenger Evert Briceno in their Televisa-televised main event live from the International Center in Mazatlan, Mexico.
It was hardly an easy night’s work for the standout bantamweight prospect, who had to work hard in order to preserve his undefeated record but eventually surged ahead in the second half of the bout.
Santa Cruz was able to make his presence felt with each passing round, thanks in large part to a dedicated body attack that slowly began to break down Briceno.
Even while on the business end of a boxing lesson, Briceno still found time to make his presence felt. While never quite getting the better of any given exchange, the Nicaraguan – now living in Mexico – almost always had a response any time Santa Cruz threatened to permanently take over during the first half of the fight.
Briceno’s best moments came when action was in center ring, but those occasions didn’t come nearly often enough. Santa Cruz’ best work came when the two fought along the ropes, which was where the undefeated Mexican was often able to push the action.
Fatigue began to set in for Briceno during the second half of the bout, at which point Santa Cruz decided to kick it into overdrive in search of an early ending. Body shots and combinations upstairs began to take their toll on Briceno, who was in strict defensive mode as it went later into the fight.
Realizing his opponent had no fight left in him, Santa Cruz turned predator once the bout hit the championship rounds. His aggression paid off in dividends, flooring Briceno approximately one minute into the 11th round.
The referee began his count and allowed Briceno to rise to his feet, but didn’t care for the body language exhibited and opted to stop the contest without another punch being thrown.
The official time was 1:01 of the 11th round.
Santa Cruz improves to 17-0 (9KO) with the win, racking up his seventh straight knockout in a streak that dates back nearly two years. The 22-year old entered the bout on the heels of a fifth round stoppage of former titlist Jose Lopez.
Lasting the full twelve rounds was the only form of victory Briceno sought to enjoy, though fell about five minutes short of that mark. The 33-year old heads home with a record of 33-7-1 (26KO).
Mario Rodriguez posted his second straight strong showing against an undefeated opponent, scoring an shockingly wide points win over strawweight prospect Manuel Jimenez on Saturday evening.
Scores were 119-108 (twice) and 120-107 in their co-feature.
Rodriguez atoned for his height and reach disadvantage with constant pressure, smothering Jimenez all night and never once slowing down. Jimenez had a hard time adjusting, though got in plenty of licks on his own.
The greatest signs of disaster for Jimenez came in the fifth. A cut over his left eye caused time to be called midway through the round, only for the referee and doctor to agree that it wasn’t severe enough to stop the fight. Moments later, Jimenez found himself on the deck for the first time in his career.
Rodriguez never eased up off of the gas, sensing a Jimenez rally was brewing and made him work for it every step of the way.
Jimenez began to dial in during the championship rounds, but was already way too far in the hole, not to mention that Rodriguez was still matching him punch-for-punch.
Rodriguez improves to 11-6-1 (7KO) with the win, his first since last summer, although he is coming off of a 12-round draw versus undefeated Pedro Guevera.
Jimenez falls for the first time as a pro as his record dips to 11-1-1 (5KO)
The show was presented by Golden Boy Promotions, airing live on Televisa and also streaming live (and crystal clear) on AT&T U-verse’s website.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
Cruz Control: Leo Santa Cruz Stops Briceno In 11
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by onechance87 on 07-31-2011
cruz looking good.Love how he goes to the body.Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines News: Julian Rodriguez, LaRon Mitchell, Evander Holyfield, More McGregor on How Mayweather First Got on His Radar Years Ago Photos: Callum Smith Grinding Hard For Erik Skoglund Clash Rios Expects Fireworks, Ready To Shock Rey Vargas For WBC Belt McGregor: I Whooped One Face of Boxing, Now I'll Whoop Another Mayweather Vows 'A lot More Excitement' Than Pacquiao Fight McGregor: F*** Mayweather's Defense, I Know How to Crack Code Eubank Jr: Mayweather-McGregor is a Once in a Lifetime Fight McGregor: This is NOT Even Close To My Toughest Challenge Ever Rex Tso Ready To Raise His Level For Kohei Kono Showdown Dana White Fires Back, Lashes Out at "Senile F***" Bob Arum McGregor: I Told Malignaggi - 'You Look Stupid, Get Over The Photo' Edis Tatli, Francesco Patera Rematch Agreement is Reached Cunningham: I'm Prepared To Do Whatever To Get The Job Done Klitschko Praises Floyd, Says McGregor Reminds Him of Fight Club Marciano's Son: Mayweather Should Not Be 50-0 With Win! Video: Joe Cortez Discusses Mayweather vs. McGregor, More Payano Easily Out-Boxes Santiago, Wins Unanimous Decision Ladarius Miller Beats Jamel Herring; Ashley Theophane Loses Photos: Jack-Cleverly, Cunningham-Tabiti - FaceOffs at T-Mobile Video: Malignaggi Discusses Conor McGregor Confrontation Photos: Mayweather, McGregor - Grand Arrivals at T-Mobile McGregor: Mayweather Praying That I’m Struggling to Make Weight Video: McGregor, Malignaggi Nearly Erupt at T-Mobile Arena McGregor, Malignaggi in Heated Confrontation at Grand Arrivals Video: Mayweather, McGregor Camps Near Scuffle at T-Mobile Cleverly Feels Win Over Badou Jack Will Secure Andre Ward Shot Mayweather Believes McGregor is Struggling To Make Weight Carl Frampton is Urged To Sign Promotional With Eddie Hearn Crawford-Indongo Telecast Averaged 965,000 Viewers on ESPN Former Sparring Partner Admits McGregor Was Not Hard To Hit Eubank Jr: Mayweather Will Be More Aggressive, Will Go For KO Shane McGuigan Removes Carl Frampton From Twitter Bio Mayweather-McGregor News; Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov, More TMT's DeJuan Blake: McGregor is Awkward, Mayweather is Ready Paul Hyland vs Stephen Ormond on October 21 in Belfast Jeff Horn: I'd Fight Mayweather Like Maidana Did - But Consistent! Cotto Unfazed By All the Attention Paid to Mayweather-McGregor NSAC Head: McGregor is Younger, Stronger, Longer, Big Puncher Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo: Post-Undisputed Report Card
Latest Boxing Video Video: Joe Cortez Discusses Mayweather vs. McGregor, More Video: Malignaggi Discusses Conor McGregor Confrontation Video: McGregor, Malignaggi Nearly Erupt at T-Mobile Arena Video: Mayweather, McGregor Camps Near Scuffle at T-Mobile Video: Dillian Whyte Ready For Deontay Wilder, Discusses Future Video: Bryant Jennings Talks Wilder-Ortiz, Crawford, More Video: Andre Ward Talks Crawford, Kovalev, Stevenson, More Video: Teddy Atlas Talks Crawford, Lomachenko, Spence, More Video: Bob Arum on Pacquiao-Horn 2, Crawford-Indongo Video: Crawford's Trainer Talks Mikey Garcia, Indongo Clash
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads