Santa Cruz Stops Avalos

By Robert Ecksel on October 15, 2017
Santa Cruz Stops Avalos
The fight was something of a gimme. (Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions)

Avalos had lost three of his last five fights coming in, dating back to the 2015 whooping by Carl Frampton…

Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs), the three-division champion from Lincoln Heights, California, by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, successfully defended his WBA featherweight title by stopping game but outclassed Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs), from Lancaster, California, at 1:34 of round eight.

Avalos had lost three of his last five fights coming in, all by TKO, dating back to the 2015 whooping at the hands of Carl Frampton. A credible competitor with heavy hands and a questionable chin, Avalos was up against it. Santa Cruz staggered him with a left hook to the head in the fourth and as usual never let up.

“I thought I had him in the fourth round,” said Santa Cruz. “I gassed out a little bit but I got my air back later. I thought the ref was going to jump in during that round but he let him continue.”

Several hooks to the body in the seventh knocked whatever steam Avalos had left right out of his body.

It took eight rounds, but referee Thomas Taylor had seen enough and waved it off just shy of the halfway mark of the round.

“I’m very upset with the stoppage,” said Avalos. “We were fighting the whole time. There was no reason to stop this fight. I wasn’t hurt like the referee thought. I want to fight for the title again.”

The fight was something of a gimme, which was also true of the co-main between Abner Mares and Andres Gutierrez.

“I want Abner Mares,” said Santa Cruz after the fight. “I said if we both win; we’re going to fight. I’m ready to fight him in Los Angeles in the beginning of next year.”

Santa Cruz won their first fight by majority decision. The final scores were 114-114 and 117-111 twice. A rematch makes sense. Leo’s fights are always exciting. And Mares, one of the game’s great brawlers, has turned things around in a big way.

“I’m a totally different fighter now since I started working with Robert Garcia,” said Mares. “We’re going to keep showing that when we fight Leo Santa Cruz.”

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  1. Isoroku Yamamoto 08:02am, 10/16/2017

    Two public muggings to keep Lil;.Abner and Leo Sharp with lots of empty seats at the StubHub! Ref screwed the only competitive match on the card when he waved off Eddie Ramirez who was not hurt as bad as Avalos was in the fourth with Teremoto!

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