At the Microsoft Theater, in L.A., CA, Saturday night over USA Fox Premier Boxing Champions and TGB Promotions Tom Brown presented a pair of world title fights with only one shown over the network.
WBA World Super Featherweight champion Mexican Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, 36-1-1 (19), of Rosemead, CA, making his third defense won an exciting decision over Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera, 26-3-2 (17), of Tijuana, Baja CA, MEX, over 12 rounds.
In the opening round Rivera a late sub had been in training for another fight. He landed a lead overhand right to the head of Cruz. Cruz kept his hands high allowing Rivera to get in some body shots. Cruz countered well. Just prior to the bell Rivera landed a good combination to the head.
In the second round Cruz landed a pair of left hooks to the body of Rivera. Both fighters landed left hooks to the chin. Inside Cruz landed several punches inside of a minute left in the round. Rivera landed a good combination to the head of Cruz.
In the third round both were using good body shots. Rivera taking the fight on three weeks notice is putting up a good fight. Cruz is the busier of the two for the most part. In the fourth round Rivera got the better of an exchange by both fighters. Cruz landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rivera. Rivera landed a right cross and Cruz countered with a left hook.
In the fifth round Rivera landed a solid left hook to the body of Cruz. Rivera walked into a Cruz left hook to the body. Both fighters were teeing off on each other. Both battled it out right to the bell. In the sixth round Cruz was warned for a low punch by referee Thomas Taylor. Cruz landed a hard lead right to the chin of Rivera. Rivera landed a lead right followed by a left hook to the head of Cruz. Cruz landed a left hook while Rivera came back with a left of his own.
In the seventh round Rivera walked into a Cruz right uppercut on the chin. Cruz used his left hook to the body well. He is the much better defensive fighter. Rivera countered with a double left hook to the body and punch of Cruz. Cruz kept up a good pace but Rivera stayed in close to him returning.
In the ninth round Cruz landed a good left hook on the chin of Rivera. This has been and interesting bout with Cruz keeping ahead. In the tenth round Cruz backed up Rivera with half a dozen unanswered punches. Halfway through the round both fluried with Cruz getting the better of it. Rivera rallied at the end of the round.
In the eleventh round Rivera came forward with three jabs and a right to the body of Cruz. Cruz backed up Rivera with a combination to the head. Cruz landed four punches with lightning speed to the head of Rivera. Rivera came back with a left hook of his own to the head of Cruz.
In the twelfth and final round Cruz landed a combination to the chin with Rivera coming back with a left hook to the body. Cruz lands many punches to the body of Rivera who gets in several of his own. At the end both turned it up a notch. Both hugged afterwards. Cruz was smiling which is a trade mark of his.
Scores were 119-109 by all 3 judges. This writer had it 118-110.
“You never know about a fight going the distance. I want to thank the fans for supporting me. (dad and trainer is fighting Cancer that is in remission) I never want to disappoint my dad. I would like to fight again in June or July against one of the other champs,” said Cruz.
In the Co-feature former WBC Lightweight champion Welterweight Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr., 28-0-1 (19), of Weslaco, TX, won a disputed decision over “The Gladiator” John Molina, Jr., 30-8 (24), of Covina, CA, over 10 exciting rounds.
In the opening round Molina got the best of Figueroa who started out southpaw. It wasn’t until near the end of the round that Figueroa started to open up too little too late. In the second round both fighters opened up. Figueroa kept switching from southpaw to orthodox.
In the third round the fight really heated up with both fighters getting the better of the other. Molina seemed to have too much punching power for Figueroa. In the fourth round Figueroa rocked Molina with an overhand right on the head.
In the fourth round Figueroa worked on Molina’s body throughout the round. Molina found himself backing up more than in the first three rounds. In the fifth round Molina rocked Figueroa with a lead right on the chin. Molina was wearing Figueroa down.
In the sixth round Figueroa while backed in a corner rocked Molina with a left on the chin. Molina keeps landing the right but Figueroa comes right back. In the seventh round Molina landed a short left hook to the chin of Figueroa. Figuera followed a double jab with a right hand to the chin. Molina landed a pair of overhand rights to the head of Figueroa.
In the eighth round Molina hurt Figueroa with a body shot. A Molina right rocked Figueroa who came back with a combination of his own. Figueroa landed a double left hook to the body of Molina. In the ninth round Molina landed a right uppercut to the chin. Figueroa landed a lead right on the chin. Figueroa landed a lead left on the chin. This has been an all action fight. Molina landed a right cross, jab and another right cross on the chin.
In the tenth and final round Molina landed a good right cross on the chin. Figueroa came back with four unanswered punches to the head. Figueroa backed Molina against the ropes landing left hooks to the head. These two slugged it out right up to the bell.
Scores were 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91 while this writer had it 96-94 for Molina. The crowd was not happy with the long wait for the scores or the wide scoring. Jack Reiss was the referee.
Super Welterweight Donnie Marshall, 10-1 (6), of Buffalo, NY, was destroyed by southpaw Sebastian “Towering Inferno” Fundora, 12-0 (8), of Coachella, CA, at 1:08 of the third round in a scheduled 6.
In the opening round the 6:07 Fundora looked like a giant in there at 154. He is doing most of the punching. Marshall in the final 30 seconds landed a combination to the head. In the second round Fundora landed a dozen unanswered punches mostly to the head of Marshall. Fundora was dishing out quite a bit of punishment with Marshall only returning punches on several occassions.
In the third round after several jabs a left uppercut from Fundora on the chin dropped Marshall for an 8-count. Upon getting up Marshall was swarmed over with an attack of punches from Fundora before the referee finally called a halt.
“I expected him to go inside. He didn’t come inside so I had to go inside. If I am ready by the end of the year whoever has the title at 154 I would like to fight for the title,” said Fundora.