Boxing

WBA says Leo Santa Cruz accepts match against Leigh Wood


Via Charles Brun: WBA ‘Super World’ featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz has informed the World Boxing Association that he will face an ordered match against upcoming WBA 126-lb second-place champion Leigh Wood. next.

It remains to be seen whether the Santa Cruz vs. Wood will take place, as it will need to be negotiated and it is difficult to predict in advance that the PBC will let Leo play in the UK.

If the Santa Cruz-Wood fight is evenly matched, Eddie Hearn’s boxing promotions have deep enough pockets to win and then attempt to host the fight in the UK. . It is not capable of flying with the PBC or the Santa Cruz team.

Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KOs) had a bad experience losing to Carl Frampton in the 12th round by a controversial decision in a match that many boxing fans considered a robbery. in 2016.

Although the competition took place in the US in New York, fans still supported Frampton. In the rematch, Santa Cruz avenged his loss by defeating Frampton in neutral territory in Las Vegas.

Santa Cruz is said to have chosen the path of least resistance as he wanted to take on newly crowned WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas in a unified match.

Although the WBA turned down his team’s request to play Vargas next instead of Wood, Santa Cruz, 33, could have vacated the WBA belt and challenged Rey to win his WBC belt as a WBA belt. is the challenger.

However, it will likely be a much more brutal fight for Santa Cruz than facing 33-year-old Wood, so it’s no shock that Leo has chosen an easier match. Once Santa Cruz avoids Wood, he can still face Vargas in a unity,

Santa Cruz was on the verge of a 10-round unanimous decision win over little-known Keenan Carbajal in a promotion match last February.

Prior to that game, Santa Cruz had been out of the ring for a year and a half since losing to Gervonta ‘The Tank’ Davis in the sixth knockout round in October 2020.

In his sole defence, Wood struggled badly against Michael Conlan before stopping him in the 12th round last March. Wood looked terrible in that fight and would have lost without the weary Conlan.

Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) won the WBA minor featherweight belt by stopping then-champion Can Xu with a 12th round knockout last July. Leigh used a straight arm throughout the fight to keep the lower boxer from getting close enough for him to let go.

Wood held the lead left hand out in front of him, using it as a stick to keep Xu from his punches. It is not clear why the referee did not warn or penalize Wood for this tactic because it was against the rules.





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