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.
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.
Now or never: Kiko Martinez realizes his upcoming fight against Leo Santa Cruz might be his last shot at a title
Confusion and chaos are as much a part of boxing as a left glove and a right glove. But one thing about the sweet science is not in dispute: Championship opportunities are finite. Kiko Martinez understands this reality as well as anyone.
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.
Scan the résumé of Kiko Martinez, and you’ll quickly notice that his last two losses came against world-class opposition. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll notice another plausible explanation for those defeats.