By: Matthew N. Becher
Showtime boxing continued its full day of boxing with another two title fights, this time in Anaheim, California. The first fight was a rematch between Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz for the WBC Super Bantamweight title. Both fighters went to war last year knocking each other down, and Ceja came from behind to win the title by KO. This time was different, as Hugo Ruiz needed less than a minute to take the title and Knockout his opponent. Possible rubber match in the future.
The main event was for the WBA Featherweight title as the champion Leo Santa Cruz defended his new title for the first time against former champion and veteran fighter Kiko Martinez. Martinez, who was perceived to be an easy fight, put on a very game performance against the undefeated champion Santa Cruz. A war in 5 rounds, where both fighters combined for over 1,000 punches thrown in less than half the distance.
Julio Ceja (30-1 27KO) vs. Hugo Ruiz (35-3 31KO) Rematch: WBC Super Bantamweight Title
Both of these fighters met in August of last year in a brawl that saw Ceja walk away with a shocking 5th rd, come from behind TKO, and world championship belt. This fight was automatically a rematch.
Ruiz predicted a first round knockout in the pre-fight meetings, and he did just that. Ruiz landed a quick right hand that sent Ceja to the canvas. Ceja appeared to hurt his ankle on the fall and was allowed to fight for a few seconds more. The fight was then stopped and Ceja was taken out of the arena on a stretcher. Ruiz said he came prepared to use the right hand quickly but was ready to go all twelve rounds.
An update later given by the ringside doctor said Ceja had zero head trauma, but had significant damage to his ankle, “minimal dislocation, and a possible fractured ankle”.
Ruiz KO1 0:51
Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1 17KO) vs. Kiko Martinez (35-6 26KO): WBA Featherweight Title
Kiko Martinez came out very aggressive and Santa Cruz, even though having a 5’7” to 5’3” height advantage let Martinez come in and fought with just as much aggression. Martinez was put down with a quick right hand in the first minute of the round. He was able to get up as both fighters proceeded to go toe to toe again and Santa Cruz totaled 140 punches thrown in that first round.
Both guys came out again in the second round and fought in the phone booth. Santa Cruz never really tried to use his length advantage and Kiko Martinez came in strong and left nothing back. If he was going to go out, he was going to go out fighting.
Santa Cruz began to work the body, trying to slow down Martinez, and eventually he was able to catch him in the 5th round, where Martinez got hurt, and Santa Cruz threw and landed a barrage of punches, giving the ref no option but to step in and put a stop to the fight.
Santa Cruz TKO5 2:09
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