Santa Cruz to Defend His WBC Super Bantamweight Title Against Jesus Ruiz

Leo Santa Cruz is ready to repeat-peat-peat-peat…

The 26-year-old Mexican boxer, the reigning WBC Super Bantamweight champion, will be making his fourth title defense against Jesus Ruiz later this month, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Leo Santa Cruz

The fight will take place on January 17 (Showtime, 10:00 pm ET) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Santa Cruz, who won the IBF Bantamweight title in 2012 and defended it three times before vacating it to move up in weight, where he claimed another title, will be facing his second low-level opponent in a row. But he’s hoping to move on to bigger bouts after disposing of Ruiz.

“I feel great about my upcoming fight with Ruiz. He is a strong fighter, undefeated in the past two years and the kind of opponent I want to fight,” Santa Cruz said. “I want to put on a great show on January 17 and show boxing fans that I am a strong fighter ready to go to the next level and take on the top, tough fighters in the division: [unified champion] Guillermo Rigondeaux, [titleholder] Scott Quigg, [titleholder] Carl Frampton and [former titleholder] Abner Mares.”

Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs), 26, who lives in Los Angeles, is coming off a one-sided, second-round blowout of journeyman Manuel Roman, his former sparring partner, in September.

Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs), 25, also from Mexico, has won five fights in a row, but all against lesser opposition.

“I know many believe I have no chance, but I am well prepared and ready to give my all,” Ruiz said. “I am ready for war and ready to leave it all in the ring like a true Mexican warrior.”

Santa Cruz Defeats Manuel Roman to Retain His WBC World Super Bantamweight Title

Make that three in a row for Leo Santa Cruz

The 26-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the reigning WBC World Super Bantamweight Champion, retained his belt with little trouble on Saturday night at the MGM Grand as he defeated Manuel Roman with a single right hand in the second round.

Leo Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs), a former bantamweight titlist before vacating that belt to move up in weight, retained his title for the third time.

Roman (17-3-3, 6 KOs) used to be one of Santa Cruz’s sparring partners and was not qualified to be in a world title fight. He was boxing in his first scheduled 12-round fight, has had only two 10-rounders and has been mainly fighting six- and eight-round fights.

“I threw the right and caught him just like we practiced,” Santa Cruz said. “I worked hard in the gym to make it easy in the ring.”

Santa Cruz made Roman look like he didn’t belong in the ring with him, winning the first round with a steady diet of hard punches and then dusting Roman with a right hand to the chin in the second round. Roman went down on his back and referee Robert Byrd counted him out at 55 seconds.

“I got caught cold with a right,” said Roman. “He just caught me. What can I say.”

Santa Cruz said he wants to fight a top opponent next and called out unified 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

“I did my job. That’s what I came for,” Santa Cruz said. “I’m not scared of anyone. I want Rigondeaux and I want my manager [Al Haymon] to make the fight to show I am the best.”