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Santa Cruz retains IBF bantamweight belt

By Rocco Morales and Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda

In Saturday’s afternoon session at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, bantamweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13KO) successfully defended his IBF title with a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten and previously unknown 22-year-old Alberto Guevara (16-1, 6KO). Remarkably, it was the third successful title defense for Santa Cruz in just the last three months. Guevara fought with plenty of heart but was, ultimately, unable to outslug the stronger and more expereienced champion. Even so, Guevara was just the second opponent of Santa Cruz’ prior thirteen opponents to make it to the final bell and made a remarkably well showing of himself. Judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110 and 119-109, all in favor of Santa Cruz.

The fight was the first main event televised by the CBS network in 15 years. On the same telecast, USA Olympian junior middleweight Errol Spence Jr kept his young but perfect record intact with a 3rd round TKO over Richard Andrews (5-3-3, 2KOs) in a scheduled four rounder. With the win Spence Jr takes his record to 2-0, 2KOs.

Fight fans were admitted into the venue free of charge for the afternoon fights. The same building will be used for Saturday night’s Showtime telecast headlined by Amir Khan vs. Carlos Molina.

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