The Boxing Observer: August 25, 2013 - Leo Santa Cruz cemented himself with the elite fighters at 122 lbs with an impressive early stoppage win over the rated Victor Terrazas over in California on the undercard of Mares v Gonzalez. His Mexican opponent had claimed the title with a hard fought points win over Cristian Mijares back in April, but last night had no answer to the unbeaten stars savage battering which was ended in the 3rd round of an entertaining contest.
Santa Cruz spent last year ruling the bantamweight division where he defended his IBF title 3 times before stepping up to the talent packed super-bantamweight arena. The Golden Boy fighter was hoping to pencil in a massive clash with Abner Mares, but that idea was out of the window hours later as his promotional stablemate was wiped out in 1 round by Jhonny Gonzalez. The US-based American made no such mistake on the co-featured bout and sent a clear message to the likes of Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux, although both are unfortunately both promoted by rivals Top Rank.
Terrazas was game from the off with both men fighting an intense, compelling inside fight with both producing excellent work to body. You did get the impression that the challenger was letting off the harder shots though as the champions left eye began to badly swell. By the end of the 2nd session it was completely shut, and Santa Cruz took full advantage of the fact by landing a volley of meaningful and ferocious hooks down and upstairs which forced Terrazas to go down. He bravely got back up to stand and trade again but with over a minute to go he had to take a knee from the relentless amount of punches the impressive Santa Cruz rained down on him. Fight referee Lou Moret had seen enough, and wisely ended the contest without hesitation.