Leo Santa Cruz Defeats Keenan Carbajal by Wide Unanimous Decision
Roughly a year and a half after his second professional loss, super featherweight boxer Leo Santa “El Terremoto” Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KO’s) returned to the win column. The PBC pushed fighter accomplished this by outpointing the overmatched Keenan “Bedo” Carbajal (23-3-1, 15 KO’s) by way of unanimous decision. The outcome of this battle was not the most difficult to foresee as Carbajal hasn’t seen a fraction of the talented opposition that Cruz has.
The win was much needed considering in his last bout, against Gervonta Davis, El Terremoto suffered a chilling and downright scary knockout. Now that he has officially rebounded from that setback, it will be interesting to see where Cruz goes from here. Although he may have his work cut out for him as Santa Cruz has plummeted from the top fifteen of all four major sanctioning bodies.
The bout launched with a fairly respectful, but brisk, opening round. Each man threw their fair share of leather, yet it was Cruz who was edging the action. Also, of the two, he was the more dedicated to the body. During the second round, an accidental headbutt opened up a small cut on the right eye of El Terremoto. Half way through the third period, the body work appeared to start paying dividends. This is because Carbajal really began squirming when battered about the rib cage.
With about one minute to go in the fourth, Cruz suffered another accidental headbutt to the same eye. Throughout the fifth, Bedo drew his line in the stand and refused to be pushed back which led to some great back and forth action. Unsurprisingly, Cruz was landing the greater volume of blows and was double-downing on his efforts to the body. The action was paused for the third time in the fifth to have the ring doctor inspect Cruz’s wound. The bout was allowed to continue like the previous two times.
Over the second half of the contest, the rate of action slowed notably. Cruz was still coming forward pressing the action, but the number of shots being tossed definitely took a dip. More and more, Bedo was content to remain protected behind his high guard for longer and longer periods. El Terremoto would launch an extended attack in the ninth round, yet Carbajal weathered it well.
The tenth and final round played out like most of the previous rounds in the second half. Carbajal was doing little else outside of surviving while El Terremoto continued ravaging his body like a malignant cancer. When the cards were read, Leo Santa Cruz prevailed by unanimous decision with three scores of 100-90.
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By: Bakari Simpson