Léo Santa Cruz

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Léo Santa Cruz
Real name Léodegario Santa Cruz
Nickname(s) El Terremoto
("The Earthquake")
Height 5 ft 7 12 in (171 cm)
Reach 69 in (175 cm)
Nationality Mexican
Born (1988-08-10) August 10, 1988 (age 29)
Huetamo, Michoacán, Mexico
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 36
Wins 34
Wins by KO 19
Losses 1
Draws 1

Léodegario Santa Cruz (born August 10, 1988) is a Mexican professional boxer. He is a four-time world champion in three weight classes, having held the WBA (Super) featherweight title since January 2017, and previously from 2015 to 2016. Additionally he held the IBF bantamweight title from 2012 to 2013, and the WBC super bantamweight title from 2013 to 2015.

As of October 2017, Santa Cruz is ranked as the world's sixth best active boxer, pound for pound, by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB).[1] He is also ranked as the world's best active featherweight by The Ring magazine,[2] BoxRec,[3] and the TBRB.[4]

Amateur career[edit]

As an amateur, Santa Cruz compiled a record of 148 wins and 7 losses.[5]

Professional career[edit]


Early career[edit]

On October 21, 2010 Santa Cruz beat the veteran James Owens at the Martin's Valley Mansion in Cockeysville, Maryland.[6]

In March 2011, Santa Cruz knocked out the veteran Stephane Jamoye to win the vacant WBC Youth bantamweight championship.[7]

On June 2, 2012 Santa Cruz beat Africa's Vusi Malinga to win the IBF bantamweight championship. This bout was televised on a Showtime boxing card.[8] After winning the IBF bantamweight belt, Santa Cruz defended his title against Morel, Zaleta and Guevara to finish 2012 with 5 wins including 3 title defenses. His last bout versus Guevara returned boxing to CBS after a 15-year absence.[9]

On February 12, 2013, Santa Cruz vacated his IBF bantamweight belt to move up to junior featherweight.[10]

Super Bantamweight[edit]

Santa Cruz vs. Terrazas[edit]

Santa Cruz beat reigning titleholder Victor Terrazas in a third-round technical knockout to win the WBC super bantamweight Championship at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on August 24, 2013.[11][Video 1]

Santa Cruz vs. Seda[edit]

Santa Cruz made a voluntary defence in December 2013 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs). Santa Cruz knocked Seda down once in the fifth-round as he went on to win a unanimous decision when the three judges scored it 117-110, 116-111, 115-112 in his favor. The fight took place on the undercard of Broner-Maidana world title bout.[12]

Santa Cruz vs. Mijares[edit]

Santa Cruz next fought veteran Mexican contender Cristian Mijares (49-7-2, 24 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada on March 8, 2014. The fight went the distance as Santa Cruz won on all three judges scorecards (120-108, 120-108, 119-109). Santa Cruz showed respect in the post fight interview to Mijares, who he looked up to before he won his first world title, "Mijares is a great boxer. I came to do what I had to do to win. Mijares had great experience. He's a lefty. I had to be ready. We practiced everything to put on a great fight." The fight took place on the Canelo-Angulo undercard.[13]

Santa Cruz vs. Roman[edit]

On September 13, Santa Cruz fought at the MGM Grand again, this time on the Mayweather-Maidana II undercard. He stopped Mexican Manuel Roman (17-2-3, 6 KOs) in round two to retain his world title.[14][15]

Santa Cruz vs. Ruiz[edit]

On January 17, 2015 Santa Cruz defended his WBC super bantamweight title Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The fight was announced a month earlier.[16] Santa Cruz was criticized for fighting another low-level regarded opponent prior to the fight. Santa Cruz landed 277 punches to 120 by Ruiz, landing powerful head shots to force the stoppage 29 seconds into the 8th round. At the time of stoppage, Santa Cruz was ahead on all three judges scorecards (69-63, 69-64, 69-64). Santa Cruz earned a purse of $750,000 compared to Ruiz's $50,000. He then defended himself in the post-fight interview, "It was a war, but we came prepared. He gave me a tough fight. We went after him and stopped him. I know he was prepared."[17]


Santa Cruz vs. Cayetano[edit]

Santa Cruz moved up to featherweight and fought his first fight on May 2, 2015. His opponent was announced as Mexican Jose Cayetano (17-3, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round bout on the Mayweather-Pacquiao super fight undercard at the MGM Grand Arena. Santa Cruz won every round on all three judges scorecards (100-90, 3 times). Still undefeated, Santa Cruz boasted a record of 30 wins, no losses and 1 draw, with 17 inside the distance.[18]

Santa Cruz vs. Mares[edit]

Santa Cruz won by majority decision against Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs) in a potential fight of the year candidate to win the vacant WBA (Super) Featherweight and vacant WBC Diamond Featherweight titles on August 29, 2015. 13,109 fans were in attendance at the Staples Center. Judge Max Deluca had it a draw at 114-114 whilst judges Jesse Reyes and Steve Morrow scored it 117-111 for Santa Cruz. "I was surprised Abner came out so strong. He came right at me but we figured him out and we got the win. I stayed outside with the jab. We were able to take control.", said Santa Cruz in the post fight interview.[19][20][21]

Santa Cruz vs. Martinez[edit]

On February 28, 2016 Santa Cruz made the first defense of his featherweight belt by defeating Kiko Martínez (35-6, 26 KOs) via fifth-round TKO at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Martinez was knocked down twice in Round 1, but beat the referee's count and continued to back Santa Cruz up in an entertaining slugfest. Both fighter combined threw over 1,000 punches in less than five full rounds. Santa Cruz hurt Martinez in round 5 when he cornered him and hurt him with right hands. Santa Cruz continued with a series of combinations until referee Raul Caiz Sr. jumped in at 2:09 as Martinez stopped throwing back.[22]

Santa Cruz vs. Frampton[edit]

In a potential fight of the year candidate, Santa Cruz lost his WBA (super) Featherweight title to Carl Frampton on July 30, 2016 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn via a 12-round majority decision win before an crowd of 9,062. One judge scored it a 114-114 draw but the others made Frampton the winner, 116-112 and 117-111. Frampton had a higher accuracy rate, despite both fighters landing equal amount of punches. According to CompuBox stats, Frampton landed 242 of 668 punches (36 percent), whilst Santa Cruz connected on 255 of 1,002 blows (25 percent). In the post fight, Frampton said he wanted to defend the title in his home city and did not want to rule out a rematch.[23][24] The fight averaged 480,000 and peaked at 549,000 viewers.[25]

Santa Cruz vs. Frampton II[edit]

A rematch was confirmed between Santa Cruz and Frampton in October to take place. Originally discussed to take place at Frampton's hometown of Belfast, the venue was confirmed to be at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 28, 2017. 10,085 were in attendance as Santa Cruz regained his title with a majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 115-113).[26] Santa Cruz and Frampton immediately discussed interest in a third fight, possibly in Frampton's hometown of Belfast.[27][28] Frampton earned a purse of $1 million compared to $900,000 that Santa Cruz received. In the post-fight, Santa Cruz said, "Before the fight I said I wanted revenge and I wanted to work hard. I went to the gym and I worked hard, and I did what I had to do. Carl Frampton is a good fighter. Let's make it a third fight!" Frampton only landed 133 of his 592 punches thrown (22%) whereas Santa Cruz landed 230 of his 884 thrown (26%).[29][30] Nielsen Media Research reported the fight averaged 587,000 and peaked at 643,000 viewers.[31]

Santa Cruz vs. Avalos[edit]

On April 3, 2017 the World Boxing Association ordered a rematch between Santa Cruz and their "regular" champion Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs). This was done as part of WBA's ongoing plan to reduce the number of world titles. Mares became mandatory challenger and "regular" titleholder after winning a split decision against Argentine boxer Jesus Cuellar in December 2016.[32] Due to the negotiations taking too long, the WBA ordered a deal be made by July 11, 2017 or the fight would go to purse bids on July 21. The fight was supposedly set for September 9 at the Staples Center, but nothing materialized.[33] Due to the Srisaket Sor RungvisaiRoman González rematch taking place on the September 9 at the Stubhub Center in Carson, AEG, who own both venues said they would push the Santa Cruz-Mares rematch back to take place on October 7 instead.[34] On August 18, it was announced that negotiations had broken down.[35]

On August 25, Mares told Ringtv that he and Santa Cruz would still appear on the same card on October 14 on Fox. The fight would take place in the afternoon, on the same card Jermell Charlo defends his WBC light middleweight title against Erickson Lubin in the evening on Showtime. Advisor Al Haymon re-assured Mares that a rematch with Santa Cruz would still take place.[36] On August 30, it was announced that Santa Cruz's opponent would be Chris Avalos, while Mares would fight Andrés Gutiérrez.[37] Avalos came into the fight with a 2-3 record in his last 5 fights since 2015.

In a one-sided beatdown, Santa Cruz stopped Avalos in the eighth round. The end came with Santa Cruz piling hurtful power shots on Avalos, when referee Thomas Taylor had seen enough, he stepped in at 1 minute, 34 seconds. Avalos never got started in the fight, which was all Santa Cruz. After a slow start in the opening round, Santa Cruz began to pick his power shots to the head and body. Avalos connected on his own shots, but lacked the power to hurt Santa Cruz.[38] Avalos was not happy with the stoppage, "I'm very upset with the stoppage. We were fighting the whole time. There was no reason to stop this fight. I wasn't hurt like the referee thought. I want to fight for the title again." Santa Cruz spoke about the game plan for the fight saying, "At the beginning, I wasn't doing what my corner was telling me. I was trying to please the fans. I wanted to give [the fans] a brawl, a toe-to-toe, my dad said, 'What are you doing, you are supposed to beat him from the outside' -- and that's what we did in the later rounds." CompuBox stats showed exactly how the fight went with Santa Cruz landing 281 of 692 punches thrown (41%) and Avalos landing 169 of 751 thrown (23%).[39] Mares was also victorious in his fight, setting up a rematch between himself and Santa Cruz.[40] The card averaged 1,483,000 viewers on Fox.[41]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
36 fights 34 wins 1 loss
By knockout 19 0
By decision 15 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
36 Win 34–1–1 United States Chris Avalos KO 8 (12), 1:34 Oct 14, 2017 United States StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) featherweight title
35 Win 33–1–1 United Kingdom Carl Frampton MD 12 Jan 28, 2017 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBA (Super) featherweight title
34 Loss 32–1–1 United Kingdom Carl Frampton MD 12 Jul 30, 2016 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S. Lost WBA (Super) featherweight title
33 Win 32–0–1 Spain Kiko Martínez TKO 5 (12), 2:09 Feb 27, 2016 United States Honda Center, Anaheim, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) featherweight title
32 Win 31–0–1 Mexico Abner Mares MD 12 Aug 29, 2015 United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Won vacant WBA (Super) featherweight title
31 Win 30–0–1 Mexico Jose Cayetano UD 10 May 2, 2015 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
30 Win 29–0–1 Mexico Jesus Ruiz TKO 8 (12), 0:29 Jan 17, 2015 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super bantamweight title
29 Win 28–0–1 Mexico Manuel Roman KO 2 (12), 0:55 Sep 13, 2014 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super bantamweight title
28 Win 27–0–1 Mexico Cristian Mijares UD 12 Mar 8, 2014 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super bantamweight title
27 Win 26–0–1 Puerto Rico César Seda UD 12 Dec 14, 2013 United States Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Retained WBC super bantamweight title
26 Win 25–0–1 Mexico Victor Terrazas TKO 3 (12), 2:09 Aug 24, 2013 United States StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S. Won WBC super bantamweight title
25 Win 24–0–1 Venezuela Alexander Muñoz TKO 5 (10), 1:56 May 4, 2013 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant USBA super bantamweight title
24 Win 23–0–1 Mexico Alberto Guevara UD 12 Dec 15, 2012 United States Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Retained IBF bantamweight title
23 Win 22–0–1 Mexico Victor Zaleta TKO 9 (12), 1:42 Nov 10, 2012 United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Retained IBF bantamweight title
22 Win 21–0–1 Puerto Rico Eric Morel RTD 5 (12), 3:00 Sep 15, 2012 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF bantamweight title
21 Win 20–0–1 South Africa Vusi Malinga UD 12 Jun 2, 2012 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S. Won vacant IBF bantamweight title
20 Win 19–0–1 Mexico Alejandro Hernández RTD 4 (10), 0:10 Jan 21, 2012 Mexico Bodega Del Boxeo, Ensenada, Mexico
19 Win 18–0–1 Mexico Jorge Romero TKO 3 (8), 1:10 Nov 26, 2011 Mexico Plaza de Toros, Mexico City, Mexico
18 Win 17–0–1 Nicaragua Everth Briceno TKO 11 (12), 1:58 Jul 30, 2011 Mexico International Center, Mazatlán, Mexico Retained WBC Youth interim bantamweight title
17 Win 16–0–1 Puerto Rico Jose Lopez KO 5 (8), 2:35 Jun 3, 2011 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
16 Win 15–0–1 Belgium Stephane Jamoye KO 6 (10) Mar 26, 2011 Mexico Instituto de la Juventud, Xalapa, Mexico Won vacant WBC Youth interim bantamweight title
15 Win 14–0–1 United States James Owens TKO 1 (6), 1:14 Oct 21, 2010 United States Martin's Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, Maryland, U.S.
14 Win 13–0–1 Mexico Jose Angel Cota TKO 3 (8), 1:35 Jun 3, 2010 United States Casino, Commerce, California, U.S.
13 Win 12–0–1 Mexico Juan Jose Beltran TKO 3 (8), 2:17 Dec 17, 2009 United States Casino, Commerce, California, U.S.
12 Win 11–0–1 Mexico Julio Valadez KO 1 (6), 1:22 Nov 3, 2009 United States Casino, Commerce, California, U.S.
11 Win 10–0–1 United States Robert DaLuz UD 6 Aug 22, 2009 United States Casino Resort and Spa, Pala, California, U.S.
10 Win 9–0–1 United States Jonathan Velardez UD 6 Jul 10, 2009 United States Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
9 Win 8–0–1 Colombia Jose Garcia Bernal UD 6 Mar 7, 2009 United States Valencia Ballroom, York, Pennsylvania, U.S.
8 Win 7–0–1 United States Adrian Aleman UD 4 Sep 19, 2008 United States Star of the Desert Arena, Primm, Nevada, U.S.
7 Win 6–0–1 United States Gino Escamilla UD 6 Jul 25, 2008 United States Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
6 Win 5–0–1 Mexico Daniel Quevedo UD 4 Mar 28, 2008 United States Industry Hills Expo Center, City of Industry, California, U.S.
5 Win 4–0–1 Mexico Jose Pacheco KO 2 (4), 1:06 Jan 4, 2008 United States Alameda Swap Meet, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
4 Win 3–0–1 Guyana Elton Dharry UD 4 Nov 23, 2007 United States Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Cabazon, California, U.S.
3 Win 2–0–1 United States Joseph Rios UD 4 Oct 5, 2007 United States Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, Camp Verde, Arizona, U.S.
2 Draw 1–0–1 United States Rodrigo Hernandez MD 4 Jan 5, 2007 United States Dickerson's Event Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Mexico Pedro Silva KO 2 (4), 1:56 Oct 13, 2006 United States Palo Duro Creek Golf Course, Nogales, Arizona, U.S.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "P4P" Archived 2013-06-24 at Archive.is. Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Ratings". The Ring. January 31, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "BoxRec: Ratings". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  4. ^ "Rankings" Archived 2014-12-06 at Archive.is. Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Max Boxing - Other Boxing News - The Diary of Dunkin
  6. ^ 3 More Rounds | Leo Santa Cruz To Headline June 3 Fight Card
  7. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz Stops Stephane Jamoye in Six Rounds – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  8. ^ Steve Kim. "FOUR WARNED – Leo Santa Cruz's star shined the brightest". www.doghouseboxing.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  9. ^ "Santa Cruz outpoints Guevara, defends IBF title". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Santa Cruz moving up to 122 lbs., vacates title". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  11. ^ Lance Pugmire (August 25, 2013). "Jhonny Gonzalez has an answer for Abner Mares: a knockout". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Christ, Scott (2013-12-14). "Santa Cruz retains against Seda". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  13. ^ "Santa Cruz dominates Mijares, keeps WBC belt". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  14. ^ Christ, Scott (2014-09-13). "Santa Cruz knocks out Roman in two". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  15. ^ "Santa Cruz crushes Roman to send warning to Frampton and Quigg". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  16. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jesus Ruiz possible for January 17th at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada – Boxing News". Boxing News 24. 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  17. ^ "Santa Cruz stops Ruiz with eighth-round KO". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  18. ^ Loop, Nate. "Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jose Cayetano: Winner, Scorecard and Reaction". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  19. ^ "Santa Cruz vs Mares Results & Highlights | Aug 29, 2015". PBC Boxing. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  20. ^ Center, Manouk Akopyan at Staples (2015-08-30). "Leo Santa Cruz outslugs Abner Mares in potential fight of the year". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  21. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz defeats Abner Mares to remain unbeaten". Sky Sports. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Santa Cruz defends title with TKO of Martinez". Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  23. ^ "Carl Frampton beats Leo Santa Cruz to win WBA world featherweight title in New York". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  24. ^ "Frampton takes title in slugfest vs. Santa Cruz". Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  25. ^ "Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz Had Ratings Peak of 549,000 – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  26. ^ "Frampton vs. Santa Cruz 2 Results". www.fightnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  27. ^ "Frampton rematch with Santa Cruz set for Las Vegas in January". ITV News. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  28. ^ Ltd, Vitalnetwork. "Vital Boxing | Frampton v Santa Cruz – Date and Venue Confirmed". www.vitalboxing.com. Retrieved 2016-10-24.  C1 control character in |title= at position 38 (help)
  29. ^ "Santa Cruz regains title with majority decision win". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  30. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz defeats Carl Frampton by a majority decision in their rematch". The Ring. 2017-01-28. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  31. ^ "Showtime wins head-to-head ratings matchup with HBO". The Ring. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  32. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares Rematch Ordered By The WBA – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  33. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares Rematch Purse Bid on July 21 – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  34. ^ "Schaefer: Santa Cruz vs. Mares II Announcement Getting Close – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
  35. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2017/8/18/16169584/leo-santa-cruz-vs-abner-mares-ii-off
  36. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares to share Fox doubleheader on Oct. 14". The Ring. 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2017-08-26. 
  37. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2017/8/30/16226832/leo-santa-cruz-and-abner-mares-set-for-tune-ups-on-10-14-fox-doubleheader
  38. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz Stops Chris Avalos in Eight, Mares Rematch Next? – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  39. ^ "Santa Cruz, Mares win big, set up awaited rematch". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  40. ^ "Leo Santa Cruz set to face Abner Mares in rematch after both claimed victories in California". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  41. ^ "'PBC on FOX' Tripleheader Averaged 1.48 Million Viewers Saturday – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 

Video references[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Fahpetchnoi Sor Chitpattana
WBC Youth bantamweight champion
Interim title

March 26, 2011 – November 2011
Title next held by
Tassana Sanpattan
Title last held by
Teon Kennedy
USBA super bantamweight champion
May 4, 2013 – August 2013
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Abner Mares
IBF bantamweight champion
June 2, 2012 – February 12, 2013
Title next held by
Jamie McDonnell
Preceded by
Victor Terrazas
WBC super bantamweight champion
August 24, 2013 – November 1, 2015
Succeeded by
Julio César Ceja Pedraza
promoted from interim status
Title last held by
Nicholas Walters
WBA featherweight champion
Super title

August 29, 2015 – July 30, 2016
Succeeded by
Carl Frampton
Preceded by
Carl Frampton
WBA featherweight champion
Super title

January 28, 2017 – present
Honorary boxing titles
New title WBC Diamond featherweight champion
January 28, 2017 – present