By: William Holmes
Boxing returned to CBS network television for the first time since 1997 when Bernard Hopkins was in the main event. CBS beat NBC to the punch and reached an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions to put boxing on network television one week before Main Events Promotions.
Photo: Tom Hogan/ Hogan Photos
Showtime and CBS are owned by the same parent company and today’s broadcast had the feel of a Showtime broadcast.
Today’s Indiana and Butler collegiate basketball game went into overtime, so the boxing broadcast was slightly delayed. CBS went right into the main event of their broadcast between Leo Santo Cruz (16-0) and Alberto Guevara (22-0-1) for the IBF Bantamweight belt.
The arena was yet filled up due to the fact that tonight’s Amir Khan and Carlos Molina matchup was not yet scheduled for another five hours.
But the first boxing event on network television in fifteen years did not disappoint.
Both fighters came out in an orthodox stance and Guevara immediately showed a lot of movement and bounced punches off the guard of Santa Cruz while moving in and out. Guevara was very active in the opening rounds and was very loose with his hands. Santa Cruz had difficulty getting into range in the early rounds and was caught by several combinations from Guevara, especially Guevara’s short left uppercut.
By round four Guevara began to slow down and Santa Cruz was able to reach the body of Guevara with short, powerful hooks. Santa Cruz began to land his straight right hand and took advantage of the tiring Guevara. He continued to apply the pressure from the middle rounds to the end of the fight and at times it looked like he was chasing Guevara around the ring.
Guevara suffered a cut above his right eye in round six but still fought on and both fighters exchanged fierce and mean combinations. By round ten Santa Cruz was switching back forth from orthodox to the southpaw stance and was clearly in control of the fight. He stunned Guevara with a crisp left hand in round eleven, and hurt Guevara in the last round. Santa Cruz went for the finish but was unable to pull it off.
Santa Cruz retained his IBF title with scores of 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109.