Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Santa Cruz-Terrazas: Who wins? Ask the experts
Former bantamweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz returns to the site of his 118-pound title-winning performance in an attempt to dethrone WBC junior featherweight titleholder Victor Terrazas on Saturday.
By challenging Victor Terrazas on Saturday for the WBC junior featherweight title at The StubHub Center (formerly The Home Depot Center) in Carson, Calif., Leo Santa Cruz returns to the site of his victory over Vusi Malinga for the IBF's bantamweight belt last June.
A swift-rising body puncher who turned 25 on Aug. 10, Santa Cruz (24-0, 14 knockouts) defended the 118-pound strap three times -- twice by stoppage -- before winning his 122-pound debut by fifth-round knockout over Alexander Munoz in his last fight on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero card in May.
Having stopped Munoz for the first time in the loser's career, Santa Cruz is, nevertheless, taking yet another step up in stature in Terrazas, a 30-year-old winner of 11 straight fights, seven of which were by stoppage.
Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs) was last in the ring for a split-decision over Cristian Mijares in April, earning the title vacated by current WBC featherweight beltholder Abner Mares, who will make a defense against Jhonny Gonzalez in Saturday's main event.
Terrazas' winning streak also includes a unanimous decision over ex-titleholder Fernando Montiel from November of 2011, lending more depth to a proven resume.
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 16 boxing insiders as to whom they believe will be triumphant between Santa Cruz and Terrazas.
Showtime will televise.
Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Victor Terrazas: Victor Terrazas represents an significant step in Leo Santa Cruz' attempt to fulfill big-time potential. Some believe he can be as good as Abner Mares.
Leo Santa Cruz KO 6 Victor Terrazas: It remains to be seen if Leo Santa Cruz can successfully carry his power and accuracy up to the junior featherweight division -- and beyond -- against solid 122-pounders like Victor Terrazas.
Record: 8-7 [Cleverly SD 12 Kovalev]
Leo Santa Cruz TKO 10 Victor Terrazas: Although Leo Santa Cruz is new at the weight, I don’t see that being relevant here. He puts his punches together brilliantly and traverses up and down like a seasoned veteran, despite being only 25 years of age.
Record: 3-2 [Cleverly UD 12 Kovalev]
Lee Groves, RingTV.com
Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Victor Terrazas: Fighting Victor Terrazas is a reasonable step for Leo Santa Cruz in just his second fight at 122 pounds.
Record: 7-2 [Kovalev TKO 5 Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Victor Terrazas: I am actually looking forward more to this fight than the main event. This could be a terrific scrap. Both are quality fighters, both throw a lot of punches, both can take it.
Record: 10-4 [Kovalev KO 6 Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz KO 8 Victor Terrazas: I was impressed with Leo Santa Cruz during last year's run. His spirited approach looks to be intact.
Though this opponent might not be first class, Santa Cruz will not take him lightly. He hasn't gotten soft this quickly. Pressure, pressure, pressure will do it again against Victor Terrazas.
Record: 7-5 [Kovalev KO 4 Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Victor Terrazas: I expect Leo Santa Cruz to struggle a tad early in the fight with Victor Terrazas, but his volume work will shine through, making it hard for Terrazas to win rounds. This could be perhaps Santa Cruz's toughest test, but he will endure en route to a 117-111 type victory.
Record: 6-0 [Kovalev late-round KO Cleverly]
His activity will keep Terrazas on his back foot. The bout should be a crowd pleaser as both fighters tend to be more offensive-minded. Terrazas is on an 11-fight winning streak, but has never faced an opponent with the talent of Santa Cruz. I see Santa Cruz pulling away in the later rounds to win by a comfortable margin.
Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Victor Terrazas: This is an excellent fight, but I think it's going to be very hard to beat someone who throws as many punches as Leo Santa Cruz does. I just can't see Victor Terrazas dealing with Santa Cruz's work rate in an effective way. Santa Cruz by decision.
Record: 10-5 [Kovalev mid-round KO Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Victor Terrazas: I like Leo Santa Cruz to win a decision over Victor Terrazas based on his high work rate and energy. I expect a pretty entertaining fight, though..
Record: 10-3 [Kovalev mid-rounds KO Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz KO Victor Terrazas: This is really a step up for Leo Santa Cruz even if Victor Terrazas was lucky to get a disputed decision against Cristian Mijares last time out.
Record: 10-5 [Kovalev KO Cleverly]
Joseph Santoliquito/THE RING Magazine/RingTV.com/CBS Sports
Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Victor Terrazas: I have to go with Leo Santa Cruz by decision. I like Santa Cruz's work rate and durability.
Record: 5-2 [Kovalev KO 10 Cleverly]
Leo Santa Cruz KO 6 Victor Terrazas: Leo "Must See TV" Santa Cruz is challenging for a junior featherweight world title in his second fight at 122 pounds.
Record: 4-0 [Thurman KO 4 Chaves]
Leo Santa Cruz KO 8 Victor Terrazas: Full credit to Victor Terrazas who managed to eek out a very close fight with Cristian Mijares to win the vacant WBC 122 title Abner Mares had vacated back in April.
I believe he will get to Terrazas in around eight rounds with his activity and volume punching being to much for a spirited Terrazas.
Record: 3-2 [Cleverly W 12 Kovalev]
By a resounding 16-0 shutout, the experts see Leo Santa Cruz dethroning Victor Terrazas for the WBC's junior featherweight belt.
[Note: Martinez-Burgos was a draw, meaning all who selected otherwise received a loss]
Photos by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com