By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
IBF bantamweight champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KOs) of Lincoln Heights, California by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico will step into the ring against undefeated countryman Alberto Guevara (16-0, 6 KOs) on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Santa Cruz continued his preparations for the fight on Monday afternoon at the Ponce De Leon Boxing Club in Montebello, California.
“Training camp is going good. I have been sparring different styles fighters that move adn brawl. I’m ready for whatever comes,” Santa Cruz told Fightnews.com. Santa Cruz displays a great work ethic under the watchful eye of both his father/trainer Jose Santa Cruz and brother, the former world champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz, as he shadowboxed. All loosened up and ready to go, Santa Cruz fired away hitting the heavy bag as Santa Claus held the bag.
“My dad has always trained me to be an old school type of fighter in terms of hard work to dedicate myself. My main focus is the gym. I think that is the reason I am where I am at now,” Santa Cruz told us.
Nicknamed “El Terremoto” which means “the Earthquake” Leo Santa Cruz has definitely shook up the boxing world. In June when he set a Compu-Box record for most punches thrown in a fight hitting the Richter scale in his one-sided unanimous decision over Vusi Malinga in winning the IBF bantamweight title. Santa Cruz has caused a series of aftershocks in September he stopped former world champion Eric Morel in five rounds and two months later Santa Cruz returned with another impressive ninth round TKO win over a tough and gutty Victor Zaleta. Now Santa Cruz will defend his title for the third time and fight for the third time in three months as he is ready to take on Alberto Guevara.
“I know he is undefeated that means a lot he hasn’t lost for a reason but I don’t worry about that. I just train. I pressure him, wear the body and hopefully we finish it before, if not we will go twelve rounds” Santa Cruz said.
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Alberto Guevara will take place this Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Sports Arena live on CBS. Part of the Golden Boy Promotions Holiday Fan Fest as southern California boxing fans will be treated to a holiday gift. One thing is certain Santa Cruz won’t disappoint as another aftershock is possibly on the horizon.
“I am happy and excited because of the exposure (on network TV). A lot of people will see me with this fight. I can get more fans. They can know who Leo Santa Cruz is.” Santa Cruz concluded, “Expect a war. I come to fight from the opening bell. I will come out and throw a lot of punches. It’s going to be a war!”
Also working out for media on Monday at the Ponce de Leon Boxing Gym was Santa Cruz opponent Alberto Guevara (16-0, 6 KOs) talked to Fightnews.com about his first shot at a world title as well as his first fight in the United States.
“It’s the most important fight of my life, a big opportunity. I have never fought in the U.S. I was offered the fight and accepted it being that it is here in Los Angeles so I can show everyone what I bring to the ring,” Guevara said. “I am not a typical Mexican fighter. I an intelligent boxer going up against a great fighter. He is strong but not invincible. He uses his left hook good but I have a strategy. I will leave everything in the ring. I am here to win a world title and take the title back to Mexico to add more to the collection of Mexican world champions and what better town to win a title in Los Angeles?”
2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz set to make Pro Debut
2012 U.S Olympian Joseph Diaz is set to make his pro debut this Saturday on CBS as part of the Golden Boy Fan Fest. Diaz had a great run in the Olympics although he didn’t win a medal, his style going into the Olympics was already a fan friendly pro style.
Fightnews.com caught up with Diaz at the gym, as well. “I am very blessed, feeling ready. I have been training hard for this fight knowing that it will be my professional debut live on CBS so I have to be prepared because a lot of people will be watching and I have to put up a good fight,” Diaz said
Diaz from South El Monte, boxed his entire amateur career out of South El Monte Teamsters Boxing. He is a boxer puncher with all the qualities asked from a fighter. He is trained by Ben Lira, managed by Ralph Heredia and signed with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Signing with Golden Boy is a dream come true I always looked up to Oscar De la Hoya and now fighting for Oscar is motivating. Saturday you will see a tough fight. I will be aggressive and sharp everybody tune in,” Diaz added.
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