For the better part of nine rounds, Tony Harrison was buttery footwork and stinging jabs. He circled Willie Nelson around the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, breaking down the taller, more experienced fighter with precision and a brainy acumen that undersold the sheer, raw power Harrison had at his disposal.
Leo Santa Cruz is a pressure fighter. Kiko Martinez is a come-forward kind of guy. You want volume? Saturday night’s fight is going to have it at Van Halen-circa-1984 levels when Santa Cruz attempts to defend his 126-pound world title at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Leo Santa Cruz made his bones at 118 pounds, fought for nearly two years at 122 and then moved up to 126 in May. All that, it turns out, is prelude, because the three-division world champion likely isn’t done moving up.
One of the most talented and feared young contenders in boxing gets his chance to shine on the big stage—and all he has to do is fight a former champion on his home turf.
After Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares spent 12 rounds in August battering each other with the kind of abandon normally reserved for a couple of great whites going hell for leather over the last scrap of beluga whale, the superlatives started rolling in.
Last weekend in Ontario, California, Jose Ramirez took a wide unanimous decision over Juan Luis Hernandez in a 130-pound bout. Two journeymen at 27-6 (Ramirez) and 18-6-1 (Hernandez) fighting in a Radison hotel 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but this was the first card under Last Round Promotions.
Before the 10th round began Tuesday night, trainer Mike Stafford’s advice to Jamel Herring was concise: “Make him miss, and make him pay.”
His last three fights came against boxers who had a combined 40 losses. Now it’s time for Jamel Herring to prove why he’s considered a top prospect at 135 pounds.