At the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, the super featherweight co-main event saw four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz return to the ring with a solid performance, overcoming adversity to win a wide 10-round unanimous decision over Keenan “Bedo” Carbajal.
The fight was the first for Santa Cruz since he suffered a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Gervonta Davis in their 2020 pay-per-view clash.
“I went good rounds. If I had gone in there and finished him fast, I wouldn’t have gotten the experience I needed,” said the 33-year-old Santa Cruz. “I felt the long layoff a little bit, but I did my best and hopefully the fans loved it and want to see me again.”
Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KOs) suffered a cut underneath his left eye and one along his right eyelid both from accidental headbutts.
Undaunted, “El Terremoto” dominated the action, hurting Carbajal (23-3-1, 15 KOs) several times on his way to winning every round on all three scorecards (100-90).
Santa Cruz is not planning to stick around at 130-pounds, he intends to drop down in weight to purse world title fights with champions in the featherweight division.
Santa Cruz holds the WBA title at 126, with the other champions being Mark Magsayo (WBC), Emanuel Navarrete (WBO) and Kiko Martinez (IBF).
“We’re going to go back to the gym, get better and work on what we did wrong,” Santa Cruz said. “We want to unify and defend our title. We want all the champions at 126 pounds.”