Leo Santa Cruz successfully defended his title as the WBC super-bantamweight champion overcame Cristian Mijares at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The California-based Mexican, who has won world titles at both 118 and 122lbs, was on top from the off against the slighter challenger, who has failed to set the division alight since making the jump from super-flyweight.
Even a clash of heads in the fourth that was instigated by Mijares and opened up a bad cut on Santa Cruz’s face didn’t sidetrack the 25 year-old from the task at hand, as ‘Teremoto’ carded a 27th career victory.
It was evident right away as the pair traded punches that the more telling blows were coming from Santa Cruz, who totally dominated the first half of the fight and backed up Mijares, 32, with some regularity.
Into the second half and it was more of the same for a helpless Mijares as the determined Santa Cruz piled on the pressure and barely took a backward step in his quest to keep his unbeaten record.
To his credit, a bloodied Mijares refused to succumb to wave after wave of combinations dished out by Santa Cruz and made it to the end having taken a beating in losing every single round on my unofficial scorecard.
Two judges came back with scores of 120-108 to agree with mine as a third scored 119-109 all in favour of Santa Cruz, who is set to meet the winner of the April 4 meeting between Carl Frampton and Hugo Cazares in Belfast.
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