Leo Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz

“El Terremoto”


33 - 1 - 1



Weight 126 lbs (57.27 kg)

Age 29

Home Rosemead, California, USA 

Complete Stats

A relentless puncher with a nonstop motor, Leo Santa Cruz has conquered three weight divisions and is now a two-time champion at 126 pounds. Read Bio

Next Fight / Oct 14, 2017

Leo Santa Cruz vs Chris Avalos

StubHub Center, Carson, California

Latest News

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Aug 28, 2017 / History, Santa Cruz vs Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares

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Carl Frampton and Leo Santa CruzPBC Boxing Video
Jul 24, 2017 / History, Santa Cruz vs Frampton, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz

This Week in Boxing History: July 24-30

This week in boxing history, PBC highlights knockout wins by three heavyweight greats, a triumphant finale for a middleweight legend and a Northern Irishman earning a second world title in a thrilling featherweight matchup.

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Jun 16, 2017 / Shawn Porter, David Benavidez, Robert Easter Jr, Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Robert Guerrero, Gary Russell Jr, Leo Santa Cruz

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Jan 28, 2017 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

Carl Frampton LOSES to Leo Santa Cruz by MD in Round 12 of 12

Loss vs Carl Frampton

Jul 30, 2016 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Leo Santa Cruz LOSES to Carl Frampton by MD in Round 12 of 12

Feb 27, 2016 Honda Center, Anaheim, California

Leo Santa Cruz WINS against Kiko Martinez by TKO in Round 5 of 12

Win vs Abner Mares

Aug 29, 2015 Staples Center, Los Angeles

Leo Santa Cruz WINS against Abner Mares by MD in Round 12 of 12

Win vs Julio Valadez 3-7-1

Nov 03, 2009 Commerce Casino, Commerce, California, USA

Leo Santa Cruz WINS against Julio Valadez by KO in Round 1 of 6

Win vs Joseph Rios 2-0-0

Oct 05, 2007 Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA

Leo Santa Cruz WINS against Joseph Rios by UD in Round 4 of 4


Leo Santa Cruz “El Terremoto”

  • WINS 33
  • LOSSES 1
  • DRAWS 1
  • KOs 18

Weight 126 lbs (57.27 kg)

Height 5'" (1.71 m)

Reach 69" (175 cm)

  • Born

    August 10, 1988
  • Age

  • Country

  • Born in

    Huetamo, Michoacán de Ocampo
  • Trains in

    Rosemead, CA
  • Stance

  • Rounds Boxed

  • KO Percentage

  • Boxing Hero

    Julio César Chávez

Fighter data provided by BoxRec Ltd. View disclaimer



Soft-spoken, thin and possessing a boyish smile, Leo Santa Cruz doesn’t appear to be a dangerous man. But much like his nickname “El Terremoto,” which means “the earthquake,” Santa Cruz shakes up his opponents with a seemingly endless torrent of pinpoint-accurate body punches, having earned world titles in three weight classes. After losing his championship status in 2016, the Mexican-American California native has now reclaimed his 126-pound world title.

Leo Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz's boyish good looks belie a fierce fighter whose pinpoint accuracy can deliver devastating knockouts.

Boxing in the blood

As the youngest of Jose Santa Cruz’s four sons, Leodegario Santa Cruz had almost no choice but to give boxing a try.

While most of his family was born in Mexico, Leo Santa Cruz was born and raised in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Jose Santa Cruz exposed all of his sons to boxing—Armando Santa Cruz is a former world title contender at 135 pounds—but Leo shined especially bright from an early age, winning a world amateur championship at 15 years old.

After nearly 150 amateur victories, Santa Cruz made his pro debut in October 2006, with a second-round knockout of Pedro Silva in Nogales, Arizona, just two months after his 18th birthday.

Leo Santa Cruz and Eric Morel
Leo Santa Cruz rocks Eric Morel with a left to the body during their 118-pound world title fight in Las Vegas on September 15, 2012.

Bringing the noise at 118

Santa Cruz went 10-0-1 in his first 11 fights, but registered just two knockouts as he began his ascent in the 118-pound division.

He flexed his power over the next four fights, however, stopping all four opponents within four rounds, and earning a matchup in March 2011 with Stephane Jamoye, who had an impressive 20-2 record. Santa Cruz gained a sixth-round stoppage in exciting fashion, thrilling the crowd in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

He followed that victory with stoppages of formidable opponents such as Jose Lopez, Everth Briceno and Alejandro Hernandez to earn his first shot at a world championship.

In June 2012, Santa Cruz took on South African veteran Vusi Malinga for the vacated 118-pound world title. The 23-year-old Mexican native dominated his older opponent for 12 rounds, gaining a near shutout on the judges’ scorecards to take a unanimous decision.

Santa Cruz then defended his title three times in a four-month period that same year with stoppages of Eric Morel and Victor Zaleta, and a one-sided decision over Alberto Guevara.

Leo Santa Cruz and Cristian Mijares
Leo Santa Cruz lands a left hand against Cristian Mijares during their 122-pound title fight in Las Vegas on March 8, 2014.

Conquering another division

In 2013, it was time to take a step up in weight. Santa Cruz vacated his title and made his 122-pound debut that May with a fifth-round stoppage of Alexander Munoz.

That win earned him a shot against 122-pound world champion Victor Terrazas in Carson, California, in August 2013, and Santa Cruz made the most of it.

Santa Cruz battered his countryman’s right eye and knocked him to the canvas twice as he threw 267 punches in less than eight minutes to gain a third-round KO, answering any questions about his power at that weight.

With his father and his older brother Antonio overseeing his training, Santa Cruz cemented his standing atop the 122-pound division, winning wide decisions over Cesar Seda in December 2013 and Cristian Mijares in March 2014 in defense on his title.

Leo Santa Cruz and Jesus Ruiz
Leo Santa Cruz tags Jesus Ruiz with a right hand during their 122-pound title fight in Las Vegas on January 17, 2015.

Time for another challenge

Fighting in a high-profile slot on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana card in Las Vegas in September 2014, Santa Cruz again flashed his brilliance as he scored a second-round TKO of Manuel Roman with a vicious left jab-right hook combo.

After that fight, when answering questions about his next move, Santa Cruz said through a big grin, “I’m not scared of anyone.”

In January 2015, Santa Cruz gained an eighth-round TKO of Jesus Ruiz in Las Vegas to defend his title for the fourth time, and soon afterward announced his desire to move up to yet another weight division.

Fighting as part of the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view in May 2015, Santa Cruz won his 126-pound debut with a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Cayetano. That victory set up a long-anticipated showdown in August with three-division champion Abner Mares in Los Angeles.