Santa Cruz takes out Beltran
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Famed trainer Teddy Atlas lives by the adage of going to the body and the head will fall.
He would have been impressed with Leo Santa Cruz’ performance on Thursday night.
The junior featherweight prospect Santa Cruz worked the body of Juan Jose Beltran, breaking him down to eventually earn a third round stoppage victory before an almost sold-out Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif.
The bout headlined a nine-bout “Fight Night at the Commerce” card, presented by TKO Boxing Promotions.
Santa Cruz, signed under the TKO Boxing Promotions banner, fought just last month at the same venue, knocking out Julio Valadez in the first round. Despite having lost six of his seven bouts, Beltran was supposed to provide a test to the younger Santa Cruz.
After the opening bell sounded, Santa Cruz went right at Beltran, throwing and landing vicious shots to the body. Beltran fought back, even landing body shots as well, but not with the effectiveness as Santa Cruz’ punches.
“That was out game plan,” said Santa Cruz, who has scored consecutive knockouts after winning six fights in a row by decision. “Our plan was to go to the body. That was what we worked on in the gym.”
Santa Cruz did not slow down in the second round. Complimenting the vicious body attack, Santa Cruz began to land hard rights and lefts to the head. As Santa Cruz moved in, Beltran countered Santa Cruz with a hard right hand that sent Santa Cruz’ mouthpiece flying out.
Still, Santa Cruz did not stop after the action resumed, still pressing the action and taking the fight to Beltran.
The veteran Beltran began to slow down in the third round. Although he was game and fighting back, he was taking tremendous punishment. That punishment was now Santa Cruz landing hooks and straight right hands to Beltran’s head.
As Santa Cruz pinned Beltran in a corner and ripped vicious punches to his head, referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and wisely stopped the bout at 2:17 of the third round.
Santa Cruz felt that the key to victory was a solid game plan and physical advantages that he had over his opponent.
“I did what I could to utilize me height advantage. I thought the fight was going to be easier, but he was tough.”
Santa Cruz, from San Gabriel, CA, improves to 12-0-1, 4 KO’s. Beltran, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 19-16-3, 11 KO’s.
Cherry stops Jovan
Lightweight Edner Cherry stopped Jovann Jones in the third round of a scheduled six round bout.
Cherry has not fought since a 12 round unanimous decision loss to Junior Welterweight world champion Timothy Bradley, which took place in September of last year.
Cherry was the aggressor from the outset, viciously attacking the body of his opponent. Jones was awkward, covering up as Cherry pressed the action. Although Jones attempted to fight back, his awkward style and his wild punches did not fool Cherry.
Towards the end of the round, Cherry dropped Jones with a left hook to the head. Jones was dropped again to the canvas with a right hand to the head in the second round.
By the third round, Jones was in survival mode, looking to hold on and avoid Cherry’s assault. A series of body punches backed Jones against the ropes and was subsequently dropped with a barrage of punches to the head. Referee Ray Corona saw enough and immediately stopped the bout at 1:44.
Cherry hopes to get back in the ring soon as he feels he is at his best when he is active.
“I’ve been off for a while and I still have ring rust,” said Cherry, who also fights under the TKO Boxing Promotions banner. “I would give myself a grade of a C tonight. I hope to correct and work my mistakes and come back strong.”
Cherry, from Wachula, FL by way of Nassau, Bahamas, improves to 21-6-2, 12 KO’s. Boxrec.com now lists Cherry as 25-6-2, 13 KO’s.
Jones, from San Diego, CA by way of Arapahoe, NC, falls to 9-8, 4 KO’s.
Bogere wins sleeper
Lightweight Sharif Bogere won a lackluster six round unanimous decision over veteran Cristian Favela.
The cagey Favela fainted and countered at the first opening in Bogere’s defense. Bogere, who walked to the ring with a lion head dress, was busier and threw in combinations. However, he did not land anything flush that would hurt Favela.
Throughout the fight, Favela was frustrated by occurring accidental head butts between the two fighters. They would bump heads as Bogere came in to land.
In the second half, Bogere was busier, using more lateral movement. Favela was able to land more punches in the final two rounds, especially in the sixth round. Favela landed repeated right hands to the head of Bogere until the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored the bout 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54. Fightnews.com scored the bout 57-57.
Bogere, from Henderson, NV by way of Kampala, Uganda, goes to 13-0, 7 KO’s. Favela, from Los Angeles, CA, falls to 17-23-6, 10 KO’s.
Chudinov decisions Ibarra
Middleweight Fedor Chudinov dropped Cesar Ibarra once, eventually settling for a four round unanimous decision.
Chudinov was the aggressor, landing to the head. Not to be outdone, Ibarra countered with straight right hands to the head and body to the body.
Chudinov began to sit down on his punches from the second round on. It was a hard right hand to the body that dropped Ibarra to the canvas. Although he was shaken, Ibarra got up and fought on aggressively.
Ibarra started the third and fourth rounds aggressively. Although Ibarra would do his best work on the inside, Chudinov would create space to counter to the head and body.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Chudinov, with scores of 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-36.
Chudinov, from Serpukhov, Russia, improves to 3-0, 2 KO’s. Ibarra, from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 5-3, 2 KO’s.
Elegele stops Diaz
Welterweight Joseph Elegele stopped Juan Carlos Diaz in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Elegele was too much for Diaz, dropping Diaz with a left hand to the head within the first minute of the opening bell. A left uppercut to the head dropped Diaz a second time. Finally, a left hand to the head dropped Diaz a third and final time, prompting referee Dr. Lou Moret to stop the fight at 2:52.
Elegele, from Winter Haven, FL, improves to 2-0, 1 KO. Diaz, from Lakeside, CA by way of Ciudad Neza, Mexico, falls to 1-8, 1 KO.
Chudinov stops Cardoza
Middleweight Dmitry Chudinov dropped Flavio Cardoza three times, earning him a first round stoppage in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
The overmatched Cardoza was overwhelmed by Chudinov, as he was first knocked down by an accumulation of punches. Cardoza was knocked down a second time by a left hook to the head. Chudinov finished Cardoza off by dropping him a third time with another left hook to the head. Referee Ray Corona saw enough and stopped the bout at 1:46.
Chudinov, from Serpukhov, Russia, improves to 3-0, 2 KO’s. Cardoza, from Carson City, NV by way of Managua, Nicaragua, drops to 1-4.
Bwayla stops McDavitt
Welterweight Hastings Bwayla stopped Anthony McDavitt in the third round of a scheduled four round bout.
McDavitt, who was making his professional debut, was no match for Bwayla with his wild punches. Bwayla easily sidestepped McDavitt and countered to the head.
McDavitt was able to shake Bwayla with a right hand to the head in the third round. However, later in the round, Bwayla landed a counter right hand to the head, dropping McDavitt to the canvas. McDavitt, who hails from Long Beach, CA, stood up and was fighting back, but referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:23, despite the protests of McDavitt.
Bwayla, from Las Vegas, NV by way of Lusaka, Zambia, improves to 2-0, 2 KO’s.
Redkach stops Mathews
Lightweight Ivan Redkach stopped Napoleon Mathews in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Redkach worked behind a solid jab to the head of Mathews. As Mathews tried to get inside, Redkach landed a left upper cut to Mathews’ stomach, dropping him to the canvas. Mathews bravely got up, but was dropped again with a right hook to the body. Referee Ray Corona stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:29.
The Ukrainian-born Redkach, from Los Angeles, CA, improves to 2-0, 2 KO’s. Mathews, from Seattle, WA, falls to 1-3, 1 KO.
Heralded Fidel Maldonado made a successful professional debut, stopping Nicholaus Brannies in the first round of a scheduled six round bout.
Maldonado came out at the bell, aggressive and attacking the body of Brannies. A right hook to the body dropped Brannies to the canvas. After Brannies stood up, he was dropped by an accumulation of punches to the head. Referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:10.
Brannies, from Bend, OR, drops to 1-3.
- Heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola and Malik Scott, Lightweight contender Rolando Reyes, Super Middleweight contender Peter Manfredo, Featherweight Charles Huerta, Welterweight prospect, Aron Martinez, female Bantamweight champion Kina Malpartida, female Bantamweight contender Kaleisha West, Unbeaten Super Bantamweight Christopher Martin, and former world champion Fernando Vargas took in the action from ringside.
- TKO Boxing Promotions is tentatively scheduled to return sometime in 2010. Stay tuned for details.
- Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber.