The Future Plans of Leo Santa Cruz
WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19KO) returns to the ring February 16 after an eight-month layoff. He’ll face the WBA’s #11 ranked contender, Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17KO) in Los Angeles. Santa Cruz is the heavy favorite going into the bout.
Should he score a successful title defense in two weeks, what’s in store for the defending champ? He has been in the media recently stating he would like to unify against WBC champion Gary Russell Jr.
While that is still a possibility, his father/trainer Jose Santa Cruz is thinking beyond that. He feels his son will have one or two more fights at featherweight, then will take on challengers at junior lightweight.
“I believe that this year will be the best of Leo, he feels very motivated.
“He wants to fight at 130 but we are going to do one or more at 126lbs to see if the opportunity to fight at 130 arrives, and then we are going to do it. He is very motivated!”
Jose Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, also a former world title holder at bantamweight and super bantamweight, has the frame to carry four additional pounds.
If the plan is to indeed stay at featherweight for only a couple of more fights, let’s hope he leaves the division with a bang; meaning a possible unification bout against the likes of either Russell Jr, IBF champion Josh Warrington or WBO champion Oscar Valdez.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.