Leo Santa Cruz Steps Up, Takes Out Jose Lopez In Five

By Jake Donovan

Highly touted bantamweight prospect Leo Santa Cruz passed his stiffest test to date with flying colors after registering a fifth round knockout over former titlist Jose Lopez on Friday evening at Fantasy Spring Casino in Indio, California.

The official time was 2:35 into the fifth round of their scheduled eight-round main event, which aired live on Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate series.
The bout represented a considerable step up in competition for Santa Cruz, but the undefeated Mexican carried like it a true professional. The 22-year old was in control throughout the brief affair, although Lopez came to fight and battled back every step of the way until his 39-year old body just gave in to the pressure.

Santa Cruz showed his toughness early on, attempting to box but forced to bite down and trade when Lopez was able to close the gap and force an inside fight.  

The pace seemed a bit outside of Santa Cruz’ comfort zone, although the end result left him confident that he can tackle any challenge presented to him, as opposed to being matched soft on the way up.

While Santa Cruz was putting rounds in the bank and rarely relinquished momentum, the fight was far from a rout. Lopez made his presence felt, scoring to the body on several occasions, though never to where he could land anything fight altering.

Instead, it was the modest hitting Santa Cruz who provided the game-changing moments. The fifth round saw the rising prospect go to work the moment he sensed the veteran was in trouble.

A barrage had Lopez on rubber legs before eventually depositing him to the canvas for the bout’s lone knockdown. Referee Tony Crebs didn’t bother with a count, sensing that Lopez was a done fighter and kneeling in front of him to wave off the bout while the Puerto Rican remained on a knee along the ropes.

Santa Cruz racks up his sixth straight knockout after having only scored two in his first 11 bouts. The California resident improves to 16-0-1 (8KO) overall.

Lopez sees his career head in the opposite direction. Nearly two years removed from his super flyweight title reign, the faded veteran has now dropped three straight in falling to 39-10-2 (32KO).

In the televised co-feature, Luis Ramos Jr. remained unbeaten after outlasting veteran Francisco Lorenzo of the Dominican Republic. Scores were 79-73 and 77-75 (twice).
The Santa Ana-based Ramos Jr. improves to 19-0 (8KO), having now went the eight-round distance in each of his past four contests.

Lorenzo’s career has taken a major downturn after his upset disqualification win over Humberto Soto in 2008. He has since dropped six of his last ten as he falls to 36-10 (16KO).

With plenty of time to kill, a pair of sub .500 fighters made their way to the televised portion of the show. Unheralded super featherweight Juan Sandoval made the most of his 15 minutes, repeatedly sending Rene Torres to the canvas before the bout was stopped at 2:20 of the second round.

Sandoval improves to 4-6-1 (2KO); Torres remains winless at 0-5-1.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter at or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by piojo del norte on 06-04-2011

Heck yea arriva Michoacan de Ocampo!

Comment by PRBOXINGCOTTO on 06-04-2011

jose been done since his lost to seda he needs to retire he accomplished enough already

Comment by theplayerpimp on 06-04-2011

War santa cruz a great mexican prospect.... He should take it slow and not rush into a tittle shot.

Comment by chiguy91 on 06-04-2011

saw the fight, it was entertaining. lookin forward to seeing more of cruz

Comment by onechance87 on 06-04-2011

leo did pretty good.Would like to see alot more of him.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
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