When Leo Santa Cruz challenges WBC junior featherweight titleholder Victor Terrazas on Aug. 24 at The StubHub Center (formerly The Home Depot Center) in Carson, Calif., the 24-year-old will be continuing his quest to brand his name in the annals of boxing history.
In Santa Cruz’s last fight, on the May 4 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero card, he debuted as a 122-pounder by dropping former 115-pound beltholder Alexander Munoz twice en route to a fifth-round TKO.
A winner of his first 23 bouts by stoppage, Munoz was knocked out for the first time in his career by Santa Cruz, who had risen from the bantamweight division, where he had won the IBF belt from Vusi Malinga by a unanimous decision last June.
“I feel very happy and motivated to get the opportunity to become a world champion again,” said Santa Cruz, who was mandated to challenge Terrazas after facing Munoz.
“I always wanted to be a world champion in multiple weight classes that fans would remember and always follow. It’s an honor to fight for the WBC title. It was always one of my dreams.”
Terrazas, 30, defeated Cristian Mijares by split-decision in April for the title vacated by current WBC featherweight titleholder Abner Mares, who will defend his title against former beltholder Jhonny Gonzalez in the main event on Aug. 24 at The StubHub Center.
“I’m training very hard because I know this is going to be a dangerous fight. I’m fighting a very tough guy who likes to keep the pressure on. I think taking some time off between fights has helped me a lot because I feel re-energized. I feel very strong. The only pressure on me when I fight is the pressure I put on myself to please the fans,” said Santa Cruz.
“They’re who I fight for. I want them to see tremendous action and great fights each time. I really want to give them what they want. I never want to disappoint them. When I hear fans say they like me, it only encourages me to work harder and show them what I’ve got. I have a long ways to go, but the hard work has been paying off so far, and I think I’m doing OK.”
Photo by Carlos Delgado, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org