Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Leo Santa Cruz: I Want Unification Next or Frampton Trilogy

WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) retained his title in front of his hometown crowd by winning a unanimous decision over Rafael Rivera (26-3-2, 17 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday night from Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
 
"I want to thank all the fans that came out tonight to support me," said Santa Cruz. "I tried to do my best and do what I could to give them a great fight. I would have loved to have been even better, but he's a really tough and solid opponent. I hit him hard to the body and head very well, but he didn't go down."
 
Santa Cruz got off to his usual fast start, throwing hard hooks to the body and mixing in uppercuts to try to keep his opponent at bay. When Rivera initiated the offense, Santa Cruz was able to counter with precision, snapping back the head of his opponent and oftentimes stopping in his tracks.

leo-santa-cruz_1
 
Rivera had some success with a counter left hook he threw as Santa Cruz threw his own, but was unable to put together enough offense to win early rounds. As the fight reached the middle rounds, Rivera began to try to smother Santa Cruz and negate his reach advantage, before trying to catch him with a big power shot. According to CompuBox, 252 of the combined 441 punches landed in the fight were done so in close range.
 
"I'm very happy with my performance and I thought I gave everyone a great fight," said Rivera. "I was in there with one of the best fighters in the world and throwing punches and exchanging with him. More than anything, I'm very proud to have fought 12 rounds with a great world champion like Leo Santa Cruz."
 
As Santa Cruz continued to control the pace of the fight, he began to use more of his boxing ability that his father and trainer, Jose Santa Cruz, who has been battling cancer, was encouraging him to exhibit.
 
"My father means the world to me," said Santa Cruz. "When I step in the ring, I say that I don't want to let my dad down. I want to keep him happy so he can keep fighting his cancer."
 
Rivera continued to battle until the final bell, including a wild final 10 seconds of the final round that saw both men throwing an intense barrage of punches before the bout ended.
 
"People will know me better now and it was a great experience," said Rivera. "I want to continue to push towards another world title opportunity. I want to be a world champion, but it didn't happen tonight. I will continue to fight and show everyone what I can do."
 
After 12 rounds, all three judges saw the fight in Santa Cruz's favor by the score of 119-109. According to CompuBox, the 1,350 punches thrown by Santa Cruz were the second most of his career.
 
"I want to fight the best," said Santa Cruz. "I want to fight any of the champions at featherweight or have a third fight with Carl Frampton. I want to be back this summer and fight three times this year against the best in the division."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by dwighttsharpe on 02-18-2019

Not really much of a fan of either(just indifferent) but I bet he won't fight Frampton in UK/Ireland.

Comment by nick_viking on 02-17-2019

I was thinking about this yesterday, Frampton’s win over LSC is probably as good a win as any current U.K. fighter has over elite competition. The only others I could really think of that come close are Fury over Klitschko…

Comment by pillowfists98 on 02-17-2019

I would rather see Frampton vs Valdez and Santa Cruz vs Russell.

Comment by chrisJS on 02-17-2019

I wouldn't be happy with the Frampton fight now. It would be a bad look. Santa Cruz showed sour grapes after losing clearly then got the fight in Vegas with the condition that if he won the rubber match would…

Comment by P4P Forever on 02-17-2019

Leo stop looking for easy wins! Framton beat you and you came back and beat him. He's not the same fighter now, cant help but think he was juicing good or going to church a lot! just my opinion. Move…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Adrien Broner Hit With Restraining Order Over Caldwell Threat Bowen vs. McCorry, Gorman vs. Johnson on ESPN+ DAZN Reveals $99.99 Yearly Plan, Monthly Increase to $19.99 Photos: Edwards vs. Moreno, Okolie vs. Camacho - Final Presser Dalton Smith Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn Malignaggi Fears Khan Will Take Vicious Beating From Crawford Schaefer: Spence is a PPV Fighter, Maybe They'll Face Him Now Breazeale: Fury Put On Boxing Clinic; No Way In Hell Wilder Won Warren: Kid Galahad Must Pull Out All Stops To Beat Warrington Photos: Charlie Edwards, Buatsi, Okolie - Putting in Work Lawrence Okolie Confident Wadi Camacho Will Go To Sleep Eubank Jr: It's Inevitable That I'll Share a Ring With Canelo Breazeale Smiles: Wilder is My 'Golden Ticket' To Joshua Rematch UK Boxing: Williamson, Butcher, McFadden, McGurk, Smith Lucian Bute Makes His Retirement From Boxing Official Once More To The Home Court For Lamont Peterson Spence: It Only Makes Sense To Fight Manny Pacquiao Next Photos: Mercito Gesta, Antonio Rodriguez - On Weight To Fight Eleider Alvarez vs. Jesse Hart is Possible For June 28 Wilder's Manager: DAZN Never Told Us What Joshua Was Getting Estrada's Coach Confident Knockout of Sor Rungvisai is Possible Sakio Bika vs. Lionell Thompson Part of PBC Prelims, March 24 Jermell Charlo Found Not Guilty On Domestic Violence Charges Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams To Land in Washington D.C Wilder: Long Relationship With SHO, I Consider Them My Family Ivan Golub vs. Karim Mayfield Top Broadway Boxing, April 10 Whyte Hopes To Become WBC Mandatory, Meeting Scheduled Nathan Gorman vs. Kevin Johnson Now Set For Leicester Adrien Broner Under Fire After Threatening To Shoot Gays Hearn To Team Wilder: Try To End My F***ing Empire, End Me! Usyk-Lebedev WBA Purse Bid on 3/28; Usyk Likely To Vacate Turchi vs. Olivier Tops Matchroom Italy Card, April 26 on DAZN Danny Garcia: If My Dad Thinks You're an Assh*le, He'll Tell You Breazeale Sent Gifts To Boxer Who Knocked Out Wilder's Brother Finkel: Joshua Fight Will Only Become Worth More for Wilder Warrington: We Don't Need People Like Kid Galahad in Our Sport! Okolie Explains The Growing Tension With Dillian Whyte Carl Thompson Reflects on Career, Haye, Eubank Victories Frank Warren Gives Wilder High Praise For Staying With PBC, SHO Mikey Garcia: I'll Get 5th Title, I'll Be a Champion at Welterweight!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement