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 Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms Klitschko's Manager Says Unfinished Contract Led To 2017 Jump Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Photos: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. - Face To Face at Presser Anthony Mundine, Danny Green Rematch Set For February 3 Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Arum on Parker vs. Ruiz Possibly Heading To The United States Joshua-Klitschko Eyed For March, April at Principality Stadium Vanes Martirosyan: I’m Not Happy With Al Haymon, My Promoter Josh Hernandez Inks Promotional With Warriors Boxing Hearn Looks Ahead For Joshua, Hoping For Klitschko in 2017 Manny Pacquiao Noncommittal on Fighting Beyond November 5 Monaghan vs. Boesel, Abraham vs. Krasniqi WBO Eliminators
Latest Boxing Video Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Video: Buboy Fernandez Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Vargas Bout Video: Manny Pacquiao Discusses Camp, Vargas Fight, More Video: David Haye's Trainer Discusses The Heavyweight Landscape Video: David Haye on Joshua-Klitschko, Tyson Fury's Struggles Video: David Haye Putting in Work With Shane McGuigan Video: Sauerland on George Groves' Return, Braehmer, Eubank
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads