By: Hans Themistode
The confidence of Leo Santa Cruz was visibly fractured following his sixth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Gervonta Davis. Although Cruz knew good and well that he was facing a much bigger and stronger opponent on October 31st, 2020, the Mexican star wanted to prove that he could hang with anyone in or around his weight division.
Through five extremely competitive rounds against Davis, Cruz began opening up in the sixth. With everything going exactly the way he envisioned it, Cruz tagged his man repeatedly. But, in the blink of an eye, Cruz found himself unconscious and unaware of what took place, thanks to a perfectly timed left uppercut from Davis.
The 33-year-old former multiple division titlist openly admitted that his self-belief cratered shortly after. While it may have taken Cruz a considerable amount of time to regain his confidence, he eventually dusted himself off and got back to his winning ways.
Serving as the co-main event at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night, Cruz took on fringe contender Keenan Carbajal. Though he was game throughout, Carbajal was outclassed, losing every round on all three judges’ scorecards.
While their contest may have taken place in the super featherweight division, Cruz intends on dropping down to a much more comfortable weight class of 126 pounds. Despite not fighting as a featherweight since 2019, Cruz still holds the WBA title. With his intentions seemingly set on returning to his old stomping grounds, Cruz is eyeing the opportunity to strap even more gold around his waist.
Most recently, Filipino native Mark Magsayo ended the long reign of former WBC titlist, Gary Russell Jr. His championship glory, however, is one that Cruz is interested in truncating later on in the year. Having watched the hard-hitting newly crowned champion for several years now, Cruz is fully convinced that a showdown between them would be a thing of violent beauty.
“I think Magsayo is a great fighter,” said Cruz to a group of reporters recently. “He comes forward, he throws a lot of punches, he doesn’t run, he comes to fight. Mexico and Philippines are always a great fight, just like Pacquiao and Marquez. I think it’s going to be that type of fight with Magsayo.”
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