WBA Super World featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz of Southern California by way of Mexico defends his title for the first time this Saturday. He will take on former world champion Kiko Martinez of Spain. The main event is scheduled for 12 rounds and will take place at the Honda Center, in Anaheim, California. The event will be televised by Showtime with Tom Brown (TGB Promotions) promoting the event.
Santa Cruz won his world title in his last fight with former world champion Abner Mares. The fight lived up to the hype for sure. It was truly a thriller as both guys took turns teeing off on each other. Santa Cruz seized control the second half of the fight to win a hard fought and earned decision. Many fans had hoped that an immediate rematch would take place between the two. Both fighters are signed with powerful boxing advisor Al Haymon but each guy went different directions.
Martinez was not a popular choice by fans for Santa Cruz’ next fight. He is a former champion but his last three losses were to the 122 pound divisions top two guys Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton. He was stopped in two of those bouts. Martinez to his credit is fun to watch win or lose. He brings it from the beginning to the end. He also packs quite a punch. He is not to be overlooked as he has scored some big upsets throughout career taking away undefeated records in the process.
Santa Cruz is heavily favored to defeat Martinez. Barring a huge upset he should win this fight and move on to what are some interesting options in the featherweight division. A rematch with Mares would seem at the top of the list. Mares will fight former world champion Fernando Montiel in his next bout which Mares will be heavily favored to win. The last fight between Santa Cruz and Mares was a physically grueling fight so its understandable that they did not rematch right way. It would not be surprising to see them go at it again before 2016 is over.