Hearn: “Leo Santa Cruz Will Request A Unification With Rey Vargas”

Santa Cruz Seeking to Sidestep Wood to Unify with Vargas

Leo Santa Cruz eyes a fight with Rey Vargas over Leigh Wood
(clockwise from right) Leo Santa Cruz (Credit: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions), Leigh Wood (Credit: Matchroom Boxing), Rey Vargas

Leo Santa Cruz Pursuing Unification Fight with Rey Vargas Over Leigh Wood

Fighters oftentimes will have a different plan in place than the governing sanctioning bodies. Such cases are when a better fight is introduced or a unification opportunity presents itself. The latter should always trump mandatories or fights ordered by the sanctioning body. This looks to be the case with WBA Super featherweight champion “El Terremoto” Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19KO) and WBA Regular champion Leigh “Leigh-thal” Wood (26-2, 16KO).

Leigh-thal made the boxing world stand up and acknowledge his existence after defeating Can Xu for the title in 2021. In 2022, he overcame adversity by getting up off the canvas and scoring a hail-Mary knockout over Michael Conlan to retain the title.

Wood wasted no time and immediately called for a fight with Cruz. His wish was about to be granted when the WBA, looking to consolidate belts, ordered them to fight back in April.


It’s no secret that Cruz was trying to fight a unification with former WBC champion Mark Magsayo. However, Magsayo’s loss to WBC champion Rey Vargas, coupled with Vargas wanting to fight Cruz, will put any plans team Wood and the WBA have on hold.

During an interview on the DAZN boxing show, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Cruz plans to get an exemption in order to pursue a fight with Vargas.

“There are a few decisions waiting and pending with the WBA. Of course, one is the Leigh Wood and Leo Santa Cruz purse bid split, which we are waiting on.

Now, Leo Santa Cruz will request a unification with Rey Vargas […] basically champions have ideas, and then governing bodies and mandatory’s get in the way of those ideas. Then you all have to put your reasons forward and work out a solution.”

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By: Garrisson Bland

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for 3kingsboxing.com as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."