IBF bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz, of Lincoln Heights, Calif., will make the second defense of his crown against Mexico’s Victor Zaleta on the Nov. 10 undercard of a main event featuring WBC junior featherweight beltholder Abner Mares and rising WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno.
Santa Cruz’s fight was confirmed by Brad Owen, a matchmaker for the fighter’s advisor, Al Haymon.
Also scheduled to be a part of the event, to take place on Showtime from The Staples Center in Los Angeles, is a bout between Mexican junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo, currently of Coachella, Calif., and twice-beaten Raul Casarez, of Edinburg, Texas.
In his last bout, the 24-year-old Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 11 KOs) scored a sixth-round TKO over Eric Morel, stopping the veteran for the first time in his career on Sept. 15.
Zaleta is 20-2-1 with 10 knockouts, and is 3-0-1 with one stoppage in his past four fights.
Russian-born Denis Grachev (12-0, 8 KOs), of San Diego, is confident that he can score his fourth straight knockout victory against southpaw former IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute (30-1, 24 KOs) when they meet at Centre Bell in Montreal on Nov. 3.
“Lucian Bute is a good fighter. Good amateur experience. Good pro career. Last fight, he showed the world that he can’t handle pressure, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to put a lot of pressure on him,” Grachev said of Bute, who was dethroned by fifth-round knockout against England’s three-time title-winner Carl Froch in his last fight in May.
“It’s not about the numbers of fights. It’s about what you have inside of your heart…I think in November, it’s not going to take me so long. I’m looking for a knockout. I’m going to destroy Bute. I’m going to put my right hand tight against my body, I’m going to close in behind my jab, and let the right the right hand go until Bute goes down.”
A 30-year-old ex-kickboxer and MMA fighter who has fought mostly as a light heavyweight, Grachev rose from a third-round knockdown to score an eighth-round knockout of light heavyweight prospect Ismayl Sillakh (17-1, 14 KOs) in his last fight in April.
“I have a big kick-boxing career. I also have a couple of fights from mixed martial arts. Mixed martial arts is a very tough sport,” said Grachev.
“People couldn’t break me there, and nobody’s going to break me in boxing. We were ready for anybody after my last fight. I was very happy to be chosen.”
For Bute, 32, It will be his first fight at light heavyweight since 2005.
DANIEL GEALE-ANTHONY MUNDINE II COULD HAPPEN IN JANUARY
Australian IBF and WBA middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) will pursue his eighth consecutive victory and third knockout during that time on against countryman Anthony Mundine (44-4, 26 KOs), whose split-decision victory in May of 2009 is Geale’s only loss.
Since the setback against Mundine, a three-time titleholder, Geale has won the IBF belt with a split decision over Sebastian Sylvester in May of last year, defended that crown three times — the last with a unification victory which dethroned Felix Sturm as WBA strap holder last month.
A press conference has been scheduled for Thursday in Sydney, Australia, announcing further details regarding Geale-Mundine.
“We’re just closing out everything right now and working on the date and the site,” said Geale’s promoter, Gary Shaw. “The fight will absolutely be in late January at a site to be determined.”
BLACK TIE COLLEGIATE BOXING INVITATIONAL
The Los Angeles Athletic Club will host its third annual Black Tie Collegiate Boxing Invitational on Friday, Nov. 16, promoted by Espada Boxing and featuring cross-town rivals USC and UCLA in the main event. Also to be on the card are the University of San Francisco, Cal State Berkley and West Point.
“I am very excited to present this event,” said Ramon Espada of Espada Boxing. “This is a great event to showcase amazing talent that is on each and every team involved. It’s a chance for boxing fans to come and see great fights.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org