By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Big Joe Miranda
Former IBF bantamweight world champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs) of Lincoln Heights, California is looking to once again turn heads in the boxing world. He will attempt to win his second world title when he challenges WBC super bantamweight champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (37-2-1, 27 KOs) at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California on August 24 on Showtime Championship Boxing.
“It’s going great since my last fight in May. I rested one week I came back to the gym,” Santa Cruz told Fightnews.com.
Coming off an impressive fifth round stoppage over former world champion Alexander Munoz last May, Santa Cruz is holding training camp at the Who’s Next Boxing Academy in the City of Industry, California as he prepares for Terrazas. The 25-year-old was putting in work on a cool Southern California summer afternoon with his father Jose Santa Cruz along with his brother and former WBC lightweight champ Jose Armando Santa Cruz as “The Earthquake” Leo Santa Cruz looks to shake things up August 24.
“I have been training now for two months. I train at the gym in the morning from ten to one, then in the evening I do my conditioning. The preparation and everything is going great,” Santa Cruz commented on his training camp. “My father told me that this is the most important fight of my life so we have to work and train harder.”
There is no doubt that Leo Santa Cruz has a battle ahead of him as he will face a tough Victor Terrazas who will be defending his WBC title for the first time. Terrazas is coming off a close split decision win over former world champion Cristian Mijares. The Viking also holds wins over former world champions Fernando Montiel and Nehomar Cermeno.
“He has a hard style, a Mexican style, comes forward, throws punches non-stop, he pressures and he is strong with great experience. That’s why we are training hard to come out and win that title,” Santa Cruz said. “I think he is the toughest opponent I have faced, he only has two defeats, he hasn’t lost in a long time, he beat Montiel and Mijares!”
Santa Cruz vs. Terrazas will be the co-feature bout to the Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez main event. There is a possibility that the winner of the two fights that night could face each other down the line. Not to look past Terrazas, but many in the boxing world have been asking for a potential Southern California Mexican showdown between Santa Cruz and Mares.
“Abner is in a good fight. Jhonny is a good fighter but I think he is past his prime and Abner is in his prime, he is stronger, younger, faster, Abner should win,” Santa Cruz stated. “Hopefully everything goes good August 24. I win, after that make a few defenses, then move up to 126, everyone wants that fight and if they want it I am ready.”
Other titlists and notables in the super bantamweight division include IBF champion Jonathan Romero, WBA/WBO champion Guillermo Rigondeux, former champion Nonito Donaire, unbeaten European’s Carl Frampton (16-0, 11 KOs) of Ireland and England’s Scott Quigg (26-0-1, 19KOs).
“I was looking for Nonito, there is Jonathan Romero, and a lot of good fighters at 122, there is talk about fighting someone from the UK. I want to fight the best,” Santa Cruz on the 122 division.
But it’s first things first for Santa Cruz who will return to StubHub Center, the same venue where he won his first world title last year, claiming the IBF bantamweight title by unanimous decision over Vusi Malinga as he broke a compu-box record that night.
“It’s a special place since I won my first world title there. I will go out there give it my best to try and win my second world title. I will have all my people there all my fans, that motivates me more. I am in front of my people since I am from LA so I can’t let them down,” Santa Cruz said.
One thing is certain every time Leo Santa Cruz steps in the ring he provides action as well as excitement with his aggressive style and murderous left hook to the body that breaks down his opponents. Santa Cruz promises fans and media nothing but the best come fight night. “You will get what you want. I come prepared to give the fans what they want. I will go out there throw a lot of punches, work the body like I always do, try to break him down or go the distance.
“Expect a war,” Santa Cruz concluded.
* * *
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla