Leo Cruz’s to Twelve Round Unanimous Decision Win!
By: David Colon
February 16th, Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California: In the main event of a TGB Promotions PBC on FOX event Rosemead, California, “El Terremoto” Leo Santa Cruz made the third defense of his World Boxing Association Super World Featherweight Title out classing, out working and out pointing Tijuana, Baja California, Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera.
After a familiar first round feeling out both fighters opened it up with the more experienced Santa Cruz
mixing equal parts of boxing and brawling landing the cleaner harder punches.
Having tasted the best Rivera had to offer Santa Cruz picking his shots pushed forward controlling the range and the action picking his spots before a last round, last-minute all-out exchange securing a dominant title holding 119-109 times three unanimous decision win. Santa Cruz improves to 36-1-1, 19Ko’s while the Miguel Flores late replacement Rivera coming in off a first round KO of Jose Ramos falls to 26-3-2, 17Ko’s.
In a back and forth over the limit welterweight co-feature Weslaco, Texas, former WBC Lightweight Champion, Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. won a closer than scored ten unanimous decision over Covina, California, battle tested veteran, John Molina Jr.
The usually aggressive Molina showing signs he wanted to box early closed the distance taking turns trading big shots with the awkward switching Figueroa. To the delight of the crowd the action stayed upscale with both sides would have their moments and in the end Figueroa’s work rate and active jab would earn him a bit too wide 99-91, 98-92, 97-93 judges nod. Figueroa absent since a July 2017 third round TKO stoppage of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero stays unbeaten at 27-0-1, 19Ko’s while the fan friendly Molina coming in off a December 2017 fourth round KO of Ivan Redkach now 3-3 in his last six falls to 30-8, 24Ko’s.
In a scheduled eight round battle of undefeated super welterweights Coachella, California, based 21-year-old, 6’7” southpaw, “The Towering Inferno” Sebastian Fundora scored a third round TKO stoppage of Buffalo, New York’s, previously unbeaten “Dangerous” Donnie Marshall.
The orthodox standing Marshal shrinking down to help neutralize Fundora’’s height advantage while looking for the big right-hand counter early on was unable to hold off the straight ahead Fundora hurt several times by big left hands over and under the “The Towering Inferno” sending Marshall to the canvas with a clean right in round three closed the show with a follow up volley of punches forcing referee Jerry Cantu to step in and wave it over at 1:08 of round three Fundora improves to 12-0, 8Ko’s while Marshall suffering his first defeat slips to 10-1, 6Ko’s.
In an IBF super bantamweight title eliminator Kashiwa, Japan’s, southpaw, former IBF Super Bantamweight Champion, Ryosuke Iwasa scored a ten round technical decision over Mexico City, Mexico, Cesar “Corazon” Juarez.
The phone booth space back and forth brawl saw both fighters cut from an accidental clash of heads in round two forcing referee Jack Reiss to send it to the judge’s cards at the close of round nine and Iwasa being declared a 98-92, 97-93, 95-95 technical decision winner. Iwasa improves to 26-3, 16Ko’s while Juarez dips to 23-7, 17Ko’s.
Gauteng, South Africa’s, DeeJay Kriel claimed the International Boxing Federation World Minimumweight Title stopping Westminster, California, Carlos “Mexicanito” Licona in the twelfth and final round.
Kriel boxed early on but finding himself on the business end of Licona’s pressure attack dug down late sitting down on his shots flooring Licona three times in the final stanza forcing referee Wayne Hedgpeth to call the bout at 2:16 of the twelfth and final round. Kriel unbeaten since dropping his avenged pro debut loss to Colin Tloubatla moves to 15-1-1, 6Ko’s as Licona suffering his sole defeat slips to 14-1, 2Ko’s
In a scheduled ten round featherweight attraction Kapatagan, Philippines, “Maranding Nightmare” Marlon Tapales ran his current KO streak to six stopping Tijuana, Mexico, journeyman, Fernando Vargas Parra in five rounds. Tapales improves to 32-2, 14Ko’s while Parra 2-4 in his last six falls to 34-15-3, 23Ko’s.
Oxnard, California, middleweight Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. rebounded from an April 2018 second round TKO loss to Jermall Charlo with a fourth-round technical decision over Zapopan, Mexico’s, Oscar “Raton” Cortes. The 5’8” Cortes down in round four unable to continue due to a cut near the right eye after an accidental clash of heads under California State Athletic Commission rules the 6’1” Centeno “The Boss” was declared the technical decision winner. Centeno, Jr. moves to 27-2, 14Ko’s while Cortez slips to 27-4, 14Ko’s.
Los Angeles, California, 23-year-old, super lightweight Julian “Cuate” Rodarte advanced his young cause with a convincing 79-73 times three unanimous decision over Aguascalientes, Mexico’s, 35-year-old, journeyman Miguel “Terry” Mendoza. Rodarte the twin brother of 10-1-1, 5Ko’s Yovanni Rodarte improves to 16-0-1, 7Ko’s while Mendoza winless in his last eight solidifies his opponent status at 23-16-2, 22Ko’s.
In a eight round super featherweight pairing Oak Hills, California, Jerry Perez remained unbeaten taking out Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico’s, 18-year-old, Ivan “Cachorro” Benitez in four. Perez advances to 11-0, 8Ko’s as Benitez dropping back to back bouts skids to 12-3, 4Ko’s.
In a scheduled eight round battle of southpaws, LA based Ukrainian welterweight Ivan Redkach, made it two straight blowing out Lansing, Michigan, 37-year-old, Tyrone “Fists of Fury” Harris in one round.
The rebuilding Redkach putting wins over Brian Jones and now Harris between 2017 back to back losses to Argenis Mendez and John Molina Jr. moves to 22-4-1, 17Ko’s while the “Fury Less” Harris 2-9 in his last eleven drops to 26-14, 16Ko’s.
In a six round lightweight pairing Santa Maria, California, 22-year-old, 2016 U.S. Olympian, Carlos “Karlos” Balderas continued his heavy-handed ways dropping and stopping Yucatán, Mexico light handed, Jose “Relampago” Torres in round three. Balderas improves to 7-0, 6Ko’ss while Torres winless in his last seven dives to 13-11, 1Ko.
In a four round super bantamweight preliminary Commerce City, Colorado, 21-year-old, amateur standout Shon Mondragon began his trek into the paid ranks battering and cutting Salt Lake City, Utah’s 39-year-old, Julio Martinez over the right eye piling on the punishment prompting Martinez to throw in the towel at 0:47 of round two. Mondragon starts out 1-0, 1Ko while Martinez evens out at 1-1.
In the night’s opener Buenos Aires, Argentina, lightweight Neri “El Maldito” Romero picked himself up from a first round trip to the canvas to battle back claiming a tougher than expected 58-55 times three points win over Dallas, Texas, Thomas Smith. Romero moves to 12-0, 7Ko’s while Smith 2-5 in his last seven drops to 5-71, 3Ko’s.