Leo Santa Cruz
|Birthdate||August 10, 1988|
|Birth Place||Los Angeles, CA|
|Record||Won 29 / Lost 0 / Drawn 1 / 17 KO's|
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Leo Santa Cruz
Nickname – Terremoto
Height – 5-7
Weight – 122 (Super Bantamweight)
Date of Birth – August 10, 1988
Birthplace – Huetamo, Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico
Hometown – Lincoln Heights, CA
Pro Record – 29-0-1 (17 Knockouts)
The younger brother of former interim world lightweight champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz, “Teremoto” followed his sibling into the gym, and his talent was evident almost immediately. Add in his power and work ethic, and it was clear that Santa Cruz had the right stuff to make it big in the fight game.
Turning pro on October 13, 2006 with a second round knockout of Pedro Silva, Santa Cruz was extended to a draw in his second bout three months later against Rodrigo Hernandez, but since then, no one has come close to beating him.
Willing to test himself against the best available competition, Santa Cruz put together a string over wins over veterans like Jose Bernal and Juan Beltran, as well as fellow prospects Jonathan Velardez and James Owens. This on the job training put him in good stead when he faced Jamoye in Veracruz, Mexico, on March 26, 2011, as he fought like a seasoned pro in winning his first pro title.
But he was just getting started, as he knocked out longtime contender Jose Lopez in just five rounds three months later, and followed that defining victory up with stoppages of Everth Briceno (TKO 11), Jorge Romero (TKO 3), and Alejandro Hernandez (TKO 4). But one of his most impressive outings was yet to come, as he scored a near-shutout win over Malinga to earn his first world title.
On September 15, 2012, Santa Cruz was at his ferocious best against former world champion Eric Morel in Las Vegas, and he stopped the Puerto Rican star in five rounds, not just successfully defending his title, but handing Morel the first knockout loss of his career.
Santa Cruz returned to action on November 10 with another ultra-exciting outing, as he dropped courageous challenger Victor Zaleta three times before finishing him off in the ninth round. But the young champion’s year wasn’t over yet, as he won a 12 round unanimous decision over unbeaten Alberto Guevara in a December 15 bout televised on CBS network television.
The successful title defense, his third, would also be his last at 118 pounds, as Santa Cruz moved four pounds north to the super bantamweight class on May 4, 2013, stopping Alexander Munoz in five rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
That impressive victory earned Santa Cruz a shot at a second divisional world title on August 24, 2013 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and he took the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship with his third round knockout of Victor Terrazas.
All-action and two-division world champion Santa Cruz, of Los Angeles, Calif., will be making his fourth defense of the 122-pound title he won with a third-round knockout over Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-3-1, 21 KOs) on Aug. 24, 2013. Santa Cruz, 26, is coming off of a second-round technical knockout over Manuel "Suavecito" Roman (17-3-3, 17 KOs) on Sept. 13 at MGM Grand.
Before stepping up a notch in weight, Santa Cruz was the IBF Bantamweight World Champion, winning that belt in June 2012 and making three defenses. An excellent body puncher who is at his best when he keeps up a relentless pace, pressures his opponents and wears them down, Santa Cruz is 7-0 with three knockouts in world title fights.