Does Leo Santa Cruz Have History of Ducking?

Is Leo Santa Cruz Guilty of Ducking and Avoiding Fights?

Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr and Guillermo Rigondeaux
From left to bottom right: Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr and Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Has Leo Santa Cruz earned the title of “ducker?”


WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19KO) is actively preparing for his November 23 bout with Miguel Flores in Las Vegas. The two will fight for the vacant WBA “Super” World Super Featherweight championship at the MGM Grand.

Recently, Santa Cruz held a public workout session for local media in Los Angeles.

While talking to the media afterward, he was asked about the prospect of fighting Gervonta “Tank” Davis (22-0, 21KO). He spoke about how folks think highly of Davis and that a fight between the two would be big. He also said a match-up with “Tank” at either super featherweight or even lightweight would show that he’s not scared to fight anyone.

Here’s the thing. If Santa Cruz is willing to fight anyone, a serious question must be asked in response. WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr has called for a featherweight unification match with him through the better part of 2019. Russell even went so far as to approach and low-key threaten Leo’s father Jose about a fight with his son.

The response from the former WBA champio to Russell’s antics was viewed as weak by many fans (he said Russell is trying to get under his skin). As of right now, it doesn’t look like we will see them in the ring against each other anytime soon.

We would be remiss to note that throughout 2014 and 2015 Guillermo Rigondeaux sought out a fight with him when both held world titles in the Super Bantamweight division. Santa Cruz didn’t express a strong desire for that fight and ultimately decided to move up to featherweight.

There is a pattern that must be pointed out that’s rather unsettling. When the opportunity arises to fight the best in his division, Santa Cruz has not stepped up to the plate. Instead, he has opted to move up in weight.

Given the examples of Russell Jr and Rigondeaux, can the argument be made that Santa Cruz is a duck?

Well…at the very least, he is selective about who he desires to fight and who he chooses to avoid!

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Michael Wilson 843 Articles
Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for 3kingsboxing.com.