Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jesus Ruiz possible for January 17th at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
By Dan Ambrose: Instead of taking on WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux up on his offer to face him on January 17th, WBC 122 pound champion Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) may be putting his WBC title on the line against 2nd tier fighter Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs) on the undercard of the Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder heavyweight championship bout on Showtime at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that Santa Cruz vs. Ruiz is a possibility for the January 17th card. This obviously is a disappointing fight if you were looking for a competitive match-up from Santa Cruz, because there some talented contenders in the division like Hugo Ruiz, Andres Gutierrez, Kid Galahad, Luis Rosas, Kiko Martinez and Jesse Magdaleno.
It looks like Santa Cruz’s promoters at Golden Boy aren’t willing to match him against Rigondeaux on such short notice. It would be a little over two weeks for Santa Cruz to prepare for the Cuban, but I don’t think it would matter even if he had a full training camp to try and get ready for that fight. Rigondeaux is much faster and he has much more talent. Training wouldn’t do much for Santa Cruz. He’d still likely lose badly.
If the 24-year-old Jesus Ruiz is the guy that winds up facing Santa Cruz on January 17th then it’ll be a letdown to some boxing fans, because it’s been a while since Santa Cruz fought a talented fighter.
It would be nice to see Santa Cruz step it up a level and face some of the actual good contenders in the division instead of seeing him pad his record and milk his title against soft opposition. I’m not sure how the World Boxing Council could sanction a fight between Santa Cruz and Ruiz, because this is basically Danny Garcia vs. Rod Salka part 2.
It’s a total mismatch. Ruiz has been beaten by Christian Esquivel, Jesus Galicia, Johnny Garcia, Rodolfo Hernandez and Rogelio Armenta. Ruiz has never beaten anyone that you could call a good fighter. He’s pretty much dined on soft opposition when getting his wins.
With Santa Cruz not facing the true talent in the 122 pound division, it’s hard to say how good he is, because he’s not fighting the best guys. Sure, he can beat guys like Manuel Roman, Ruiz and Cristian Mijares, but there’s a big difference between them and the likes of Magdeleno, Martinez and Galahad.