This week in boxing history, PBC highlights two of our own champions, honors two Fights of the Year, recaps the final chapter of a four-fight rivalry and celebrates a four-division world champion.
His life has been no vacation, and so after 27 years, Leo Santa Cruz is finally getting around to taking one.
It was a vintage look, the Leo Santa Cruz equivalent of bellbottom jeans, ghastly pink leg warmers or some crusty old concert tee that hipsters pay too much for at second-hand shops.
Leo Santa Cruz is a pressure fighter. Kiko Martinez is a come-forward kind of guy. You want volume? Saturday night’s fight is going to have it at Van Halen-circa-1984 levels when Santa Cruz attempts to defend his 126-pound world title at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Going to his opponents’ backyards for high-profile matches has not worked out very well for Kiko Martinez. All six of the Spaniard’s losses—two by knockout—have happened on the other guy’s home soil. Even so, he remains undaunted.
Leo Santa Cruz made his bones at 118 pounds, fought for nearly two years at 122 and then moved up to 126 in May. All that, it turns out, is prelude, because the three-division world champion likely isn’t done moving up.
After Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares spent 12 rounds in August battering each other with the kind of abandon normally reserved for a couple of great whites going hell for leather over the last scrap of beluga whale, the superlatives started rolling in.
Now or never: Kiko Martinez realizes his upcoming fight against Leo Santa Cruz might be his last shot at a title
Confusion and chaos are as much a part of boxing as a left glove and a right glove. But one thing about the sweet science is not in dispute: Championship opportunities are finite. Kiko Martinez understands this reality as well as anyone.