Boxing Results: Leo Santa Cruz defeats Miguel Flores
By Kenneth Friedman: Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) had an easy time as most expected him to in defeating Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night to win the vacant WBA Super World super featherweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The win for the 31-year-old Santa Cruz was his 4th division world title in his 13-year professional career.
The judges scored it 117-110, 117-110, 115-112. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 118-110 for Santa Cruz. Flores only appeared to win 2 rounds. He came into the contest tonight having lost 2 out of his last 4 fights.
It’s still unclear why the World Boxing Association had Flores ranked #2 with their organization. With 2 recent defeats, Flores should have been ranked a lot lower than #2 with the WBA, but this is the same sanctioning body that has 2 champions at 130.
After all the trash talking that Flores had done in the lead up to the fight about how he was going to knockout Santa Cruz with a body shot, it wasn’t surprising to see him go after Santa Cruz fight off the bat. But that proved to be a mistake, as it allowed Santa Cruz to have an easy to hit opponent. Flores was a sitting duck for Santa Cruz’s hard hooks to the head.
Santa Cruz dominatedthe rounds with his power, and his non stop punching. He was jabbing Flores, and then following up with hard shots to the head and body. He did a good job of mixing up his punches to keep Flores guessing at all times.
By the third, Flores seemed to understand that he wasn’t going to outslug Santa Cruz no matter how hard he tried. Flores went to what was likely his Plan-B by attempting to box from the outside, but Santa Cruz used his long arms to out-jab him.
Flores, 27, began to tire in the second half of the fight from the fast pace that Santa Cruz had set. In the 7th, Flores had a decent round in landing some nice shots, but it was still Santa Cruz who was landing the better punches by far.
Flores lost a point for excessive holding in the 8th round by referee Tony Weeks, and it was obvious that he wasn’t able to handle the pressure. Flores wasn’t able to match the fast pace that Santa Cruz had set, and he was looking to slow down the action any way he could. Weeks was having none of it, and he wasn’t going to let him stall the fight out.
Santa Cruz was cut over the left eye from a clash of heads in the 10th round. Flores tried to take advantage of the cut by throwing shots at the eye, but it wasn’t going to be enough for him to win rounds. He was so far behind in the fight by the 10th that he needed a knockout, and he wasn’t going to win the fight by a cut stoppage Flores was desparate and willing to try ANYTHING in the book to try and win.
All in all, it was a good win for Santa Cruz over a guy that probably should be ranked around the bottom of the WBA’s rankings rather than at #2. Santa Cruz didn’t show the kind of talent that suggests that he would beat WBC champion Miguel Berchelt, but he’s probably never going to fight him because he’s with Top Rank Boxing.
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