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  Leo Santa Cruz First To KO Luis Lopez

By Carlos Cordoba
Photos: William Trillo


Leo “Teremoto” Santa Cruz risked his unbeaten record on Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, CA. He took on an immense challenge in facing a solid Puerto Rican veteran witch has tallied 32KOs throughout his professional boxing career. Do the math, that doubles Santa Cruz’s experience in the ring. The Lincoln Heights native wasn’t worried. Talent often trumps experience.

Leo Santa Cruz 16-0-1, 8KOs stopped Jose “Carita” Lopez 39-10-2, 32KOs in the main event of Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate,” which aired live at 11:30pm ET / PT. The youth laden card was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and was sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T.

The lanky Lincoln Heights boxer used his length from the outset of the bout, the first after signing a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions. He immediately began to connect with his overhand right. At one point hurting the Puerto Rican boxer in round number one. It was obvious; by round number two, Lopez had no answer for Santa Cruz’s length.

Santa Cruz pressed the action into round number four where he allowed himself to stand toe to toe with his foe. In the process, peppering him with overhand rights and body blows. He was cut above his right eye by what may have been an incidental head bunt in the same round. His dominance continued into the following round where he hurt Lopez with a stretching straight left. He proceeded to end the fight with a viscous assault. Referee Tony Crebbs was forced to halt the action 2:35 into round number five as Luis Lopez fell to one knee.

“I wanted to be the first to knock him out, and I did it,” said Leo Santa Cruz in a post fight interview.

Santa Cruz was one of many young and talented Golden Boy prospects on display on Friday night.

Luis Ramos Jr. Remains Undefeated

Orange County’s Luis Ramos 19-0, 8KOs scored a hard fought unanimous decision in the televised co-feature against Francisco Lorenzo 36-10, 16KOs.

The highly touted Ramos began the 8 round lightweight scrap slow, concentrating on his footwork and his stiff jab. The slow start was caused by his counterpart’s craftiness. Fighting Lorenzo was no easy task for Ramos who often moved to his right while selecting moments to unload precise combos to Lorenzo’s mid-section.

Francisco Lorenzo has in the past made more experienced fighters look bad. Case in point, the Dominican’s bout against Mexican legend Eric Morales on December 18th, 2010. Like Morales, Ramos had to use his superior skills to earn a victory on Friday night.

To counteract the veteran’s aggression, the youthful Luis Ramos utilized his cat like reflexes to score points to the body in round number two. The rest of the bout would be ugly for both boxers as Lorenzo press the action.

Luis Ramos eventually figured out how to counter Lorenzo’s constant pressure. He began to let loose with gorgeous right uppercuts as Lorenzo moved forward in round number three. Several of those uppercuts found their target. Although, Ramos would make himself available to Lorenzo’s lounging style.

The Dominican found success in landing some overhand rights in rounds four and five. Luis Ramos countered with a skillful display of boxing; rights and left to the body followed by uppercuts. The younger fighter’s straight left would occasionally land; however, it did not have any real effect on the gutty vet who continued to press the action. The constant pressure worked for Lorenzo, as he landed several overhand lefts and rights in round number seven. Too bad he has no real pop.

Ramos continued to use his speed and technique into the final round where he landed a crisp straight left, sending Lorenzo back on his heels. Both fighters proceed to end the fight with an entertaining exchange. When it was all set and done, Luis Ramos had scored a unanimous decision. The first judge ringside scored the bout 79-73, while the remaining judges scored the bout 77-75.

Randy Caballero vs. Sergio Cristobal

In the T.V swing bout, Coachella native Randy Caballero 11-0, 6KOs knocked out Sergio Cristobal 3-2 in the fourth round of a scheduled 6 round Junior Featherweight scrap.

There are not many prospects as hyped as Randy Caballero in Southern California. The Coachella native lived up to the hype on Friday night in front of a virtual home crowd. No boxer drew more cheers from the crowd which support was evident from the opening bell.

‘Randy, Knock him the F@#k out!” yelled a rowdy Caballero fan. Caballero appeased the fan by immediately scoring a knockdown, a product of a straight right. He then progressed to dominate the remainder of the bout.

Credit is due to Chicago’s Sergio Cristobal who made the talented Golden Boy prospect work to remain unbeaten. At the end, Randy was too much for Sergio. Caballero landed a short right hook that momentarily stunned Cristobal in round number three. Coachella’s own sustained his aggression until he landed a straight right, which floored Sergio Cristobal in the following round. Referee Joe Cantu stopped the bout 2:06 into round number four.

Juan Sandoval Drops Rene Torres in Two

Juan Sandoval 4-6-1, 3KOs knocked out Rene Torres 0-5-1 in round number two. The Junior Lightweight bout was originally scheduled for 4 rounds.

Rene Torres walked into tonight’s bout hungry for his first professional victory. The winless fighter’s hunger wasn’t enough. He kicked off the night’s action by landing an overhand right. Juan Sandoval absorbed the punch well and went on to win his fourth professional bout.

Sandoval first found success with his focused body attack. A left hook to the body dropped Torres for the first time. Sandoval did not relent after scoring the first knockdown. He ended the bout 2:27 into round number two with a right hook.

Gonzales and Davis’ debut ends in a Draw

It’s always fun to experience a young prospect's professional debut. Their emotions bleed through their eyes. The youngster’s anxiousness is vivid leading into the opening bell. The super middleweight scrap between Jose Gonzalez 0-0-1 and Drew Davis 0-0-1was no different as both fighters fought professionally for the first time.

The debutants began to exchange blows immediately, often looking sloppy. Drew Davis managed to steal round number one in the last ten seconds. It was clear that both fighters needed more wind by round number two. Drew Davis began the latter round strong but quickly took his foot off the gas pedal. Jose Gonzalez took advantage and pressed the action in wild fashion, but he too tired and was caught with a blow that stunned him in the last seconds of the same round.

The last two rounds saw moments of glaring exchanges to which Davis seemed to shine. The other moments of the rounds saw both fighters struggle to throw punches from the lack of wind. The fight was declared a draw at the final bell. One Judge had Drew Davis up 39 -37, while the other two scored the fight 38-38.

Jose Vargas vs. Javier Loya

Javier Loya 5-0, 4KOs knocked out Coachella’s Jose Vargas 5-1-2 in the first round of a scheduled 6 round Junior Welterweight bout.


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