Burgos Overcomes Cruz To Win, Perez Shocks Santana

by Cliff Rold

In an entertaining if sometimes awkward clash, 24-year old Jr. Lightweight Juan Carlos Burgos  (29-1, 19 KO) of Tijuana, Mexico traded knockdowns with 34-year old citymate and former IBF Featherweight titlist Cristobal Cruz (39-13-2, 23 KO) en route to a unanimous ten-round decision win at the Dover Downs Casino in Dover, Delaware, on Friday night. 

The referee was Gary Rosato.  Burgos came in one pound below the Jr. Lightweight limit at 129 lbs.  Cruz weighed in at 128 ¾.  The win was Burgos’s fourth in a row since losing a decision for the then-vacant WBC Featherweight belt against Hozumi Hasegawa in 2010.  Cruz is now winless in four straight, with two draws in the spread.

Cruz attempted the first big shot, a looping lead left, attempting to test the distance problem presented by the taller Burgos.  Burgos came forward with a combination, Cruz covering up.  A lot of feeling out was broken up by a brief exchange in the last minute, both men landing right hands.

The action slowly began to heat up in rounds two and three, both men hitting the floor in the latter.  Neither trip to the canvas was ruled a knockdown, both solid calls.  In the first, Burgos landed a body shot while both men’s feet got tangled.  In the latter, a bull rush from Cruz caught Burgos off balance and ended with a tumble.

Timing Cruz coming in, Burgos asserted control early in the fourth with a strong jab and short hooks and crosses.  As the seconds ticked off the clock, the pressure of Cruz got him closer, Burgos made uncomfortable in playing the part of matador.  His ability to offset Cruz increased in the fifth, Burgos controlling space well and landing some snapping rights.

Burgos would finally land the shot he was looking for against a blindly pursuing Cruz in the sixth.  With his back to the ropes, Burgos cracked Cruz with a snapping left hook to the jaw.  A delayed reaction saw Cruz on both knees.  Up at the count of five, Cruz was unsteady but resilient, crowding and holding to muzzle Burgos’s attempt to finish.  Bleeding from the right eye, Cruz landing a thudding right hand late in the frame to signal he’d regained his senses.

Cruz rebounded in the seventh, swinging hard if occasionally wildly and eating away at the advantage Burgos gained in the previous round.  His pressuring and abandon continued to work in the eighth and, in the ninth, Cruz evened up the knockdown count with a perfect jab that caught Burgos off balance and sent him briefly to the deck.

With the fight potentially up for grabs in the tenth, both men were looking for a chance to land something big.  Burgos did, but not the way he’d like.  A hard low blow caught Cruz who needed a break to recover.  Back from the breather, Cruz jumped right on Burgos, forcing him towards the corner and landing a nice left and right.  Burgos responded back at center ring, his longer right snapping the head of Cruz back.  Cruz closed stronger with some landing haymakers in the final thirty seconds.  Both men raised their hands at the bell. 

It turned out in the end that Burgos had done more than enough to win with two scores of 96-92 and a 98-90.  The last of the scores was surprisingly wide until one realizes the judge levying the score was Pierre Benoist.  Benoist turned in one the most reviled scores in recent memory, favoring Paul Williams at 119-110 over Sergio Martinez in their first epic clash.     

The televised opener featured a mild upset.

27-year old Jr. Welterweight Manuel Perez (17-7-1, 4 KO), 138 ½, of Denver, Colorado, scored a unanimous decision in ten over 33-year old veteran Edgar Santana (26-4, 17 KO), 139 ½, of New York City, New York.

Santana, out of the ring from 2008 until 2011, had won two in a row on the comeback trail coming in, including an impressive stoppage of Omri Lowther last August.  On Friday, he battled hard but was steadily outworked by the younger man.  Perez had his hand raised with three matching scores of 96-94, or six rounds to four.

Perez bounces back from a decision loss to rising contender Mercito Gesta.  Santana takes his first loss after five wins dating back to 2007.  The referee was Benjy Esteves Jr.

The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Promotions.

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Ravens Fan on 02-25-2012

Really was a couple of good fights and I thought the Cruz fight was definitely much closer and have to be happy for Perez.

Comment by bigcursedawg on 02-25-2012

Burgos didn't look to good tonight. But then again I don't think anyone really looks that good against Cruz. I really thought Cruz's inactivity and age would be more of a factor but he showed he still has plenty of…

Comment by TaurusJ27 on 02-24-2012

98-90? I laughed when that score was announced.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Wilder: I'm Convinced Joshua, Hearn Are Definitely Scared of Me! Buitrago Pulled From Hard Rock Card Over Murder For Hire Beef Frampton Slams Quigg, Not Buying His Excuse For Missing Weight Golden Boy Matchmaker Reacts to 'Neno' Calling Out Ryan Garcia Kautondokwa is Ready For War on Namibian Independence Card Roach Impressed With Jose Ramirez, Wants to Improve Defense Lolenga Mock, Mogens Palle Part Ways Over Money Isaac Ekpo, Rafael Mensah Train With McKinley, Praise Don King Povetkin's Manager: Drug Tests in Order, No Worries For Price Alberto Melian Drills Countryman Julian Aristule in Two Rounds Felix Verdejo's Trainer Expects His Fighter To Return Stronger Michael Dutchover Continues Winning Run at Doubletree Joshua vs. Parker - Giuseppe Quartarone Confirmed as Referee Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Finalized For May 12, Turning Stone Anthony Crolla vs. Edson Ramirez Set For Joshua-Parker Card Photos: Whyte, Bowne - Get Very Heated on 'Gloves Are Off' News: Sven Fornling, Brian Ceballo, Nikolai Potapov, More Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki - Undercard Information Arthur Abraham: I'm Not Ready To Retire, I Want World Title Again Joseph Parker: I'm Going To Come in Light and Fast vs. Joshua Gvozdyk: Stevenson is 40 & Inactive; Not Sure He'll Beat Jack Liam Smith: Canelo Ruined Legacy, Look How His Body Changed! Weekend Review: Jose Ramirez Rises, Felix Verdejo Crumbles Zou Shiming: I Don't Have The Courage To Retire at The Moment Lucas Browne Maintains Innocence in Drug Testing Beefs Floyd Mayweather Says He Will Apply For MMA License Horn's Coach: Crawford Will Be in For a Big Shock in First Round! Berchelt To Make Another Voluntary Defense, Then Roman Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez: Positive or Negative? WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett Felix Verdejo Very Angry With Decision To Stop The Fight Video: Crawford's Coach Shreds Horn - Warns Spence, Thurman Kyril Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovsky Showdown is Ordered Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores Must Happen By June, Says WBA Arum Wants Ramirez, Prograis to Take Interim Fights on Same Card Michael Conlan Hopes To Fight in Belfast on June Date Kovalev-Marcus Browne Deal Done for HBO Bout; Date Not Set Arum: Felix Verdejo Very Disappointing; It's a Lack of Discipline

Latest Active Forum Threads