By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Not known for his power, the technical Leo Santa Cruz did something he had not done in almost two years: win by knockout. He did so in a dominant manner. Santa Cruz scored a one-punch knockout over Julio Valdez in front of a sold-out crowd of over 600 at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, CA. The bout headlined the professional boxing portion of the “Kardashian Knockout Charity” card, presented by TKO Boxing Promotions.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Santa Cruz was coming off a six round unanimous decision over Robert DaLuz in August. It was a close bout between the younger Santa Cruz and the trial horse DaLuz, who fought a good fight despite a below .500 professional record.
Valdez began his career modestly, winning three out of his first four bouts. However, he is winless in his last seven bouts, including Robert Marroquin, Sergio Perales, and Luis Yanez.
Valdez worked from the outside, trying to land punches as he would go in and out of Santa Cruz’ reach. Undeterred, Santa Cruz was patient and attempted to counter whenever Valdez came in.
A left hook to the body dropped Valdez to the canvas in a fetal position. Valdez was writhing in pain as referee Jerry Cantu counted him out at 1:22 of the round.
Santa Cruz, from San Gabriel, CA, improves to 11-0-1, 3 KO’s. Valdez, from San Antonio, TX by way of Aguascalientes, Mexico, drops to 3-8-1.
Welterweights David Garcia and Julian Romero fought to a second round technical draw in a scheduled four round bout.
Both fighters fought in close during the action-filled bout. Romero scored a flash knockdown over Garcia with a counter right hand to the head. Garcia recovered well towards the end of the round, being the busier and more aggressive fighter of the two.
Garcia came on in the second round, backing Romero up against the ropes. Garcia landed hard shots to the body and uppercuts to the head that at times looked as though Romero would go down.
During an exchange of punches, a cut opened over the left eye of Romero. Referee Jerry Cantu stopped the bout at 1:17 of the second round after the ringside physician felt that the cut was in bad shape to allow Romero to continue.
By rules of the California State Athletic Commission, since it was an accidental headbutt that opened the cut and two full rounds were not completed, the bout was ruled a technical draw.
Garcia, from Oxnard, CA, goes to 1-0-1, 1 KO. Romero, from Miami, FL by way of Toa Alto, Puerto Rico, goes to 0-1-1.
Lightweight Ivan Redkach was successful in his professional debut, stopping Keith Kelly in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Redkach, fighting from Los Angeles, CA by way of the Ukraine, ended matters at 49 seconds of the round with a left hook to the body. Referee David Denkin called ahalt to the action.
Kelly, from Great Falls, MT, drops to 0-3.
- World champion Steven Luevano, Middleweight Sergio Mora, Lightweight contender Rolando Reyes, and Featherweight prospect Charles Huerta caught the action from ringside.
- TKO Boxing Promotions returns to the Commerce Casino on Thursday, December 17th.
- Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber
- Professional and celebrity action in the ring was taped for an episode on “Keeping up with the Kardashians” on the E channel
- Proceeds for the night’s show went to the Dream Foundation, the charity that the Kardashian family work with.
In celebrity boxing action, Rob Kardashian was stopped by James Taylor after the first round. A right hand by the bigger dropped Kardashian to the canvas.
Kim Kardashian lost her bout to another female fighter.
Bruce Jenner won his bout against John Behar.