IBF Bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13) successfully retained his title as he defeated the over-matched and under-sized Victor Zaleta (20-3-1, 10) in a thoroughly exciting all action war.
The opening round set the tale of what was to come as both men went at each other from the bell. It was tit for tat action as Santa Cruz pressed forward relentlessly with Zaleta trying to fight him off with his own shots. It was a great start to the fight and it quickly got better as the two men continued to pound on each other in rounds 2 an 3 which were both competitive even if it was a shut out for Santa Cruz.
In round 4 the power of Santa Cruz started to show and he swiftly started to force Zaleta to unravel with the challenger looking very messy early in the round. Santa Cruz continued to unleash and whilst Zaleta was bravely fighting back it was the power of Santa Cruz's body shots that took their toll as he dropped Zaleta with a nasty body blow. Zaleta bravely got up however it seemed as if the shot really took it's toll on him.
Despite surviving rounds 5 and 6 well it seemed only a matter of time before Zaleta would be stopped. He was courageous in fighting back though he was simple lacking the power to get Santa Cruz's attention as the champion proceeded to walk him down and crack him with hurtful shots to both the head and body.
After being competitive in rounds 5 and 6 Santa Cruz scored another knockdown with a vicious body shot that felled Zaleta in round 7. It seemed as if Zaleta was ready to be stopped though he again proved he was a warrior as he came out for round 8, though sadly for Zaleta round 8 was probably the most one sided round as Santa Cruz really wailed away on Zaleta who proved to have a great chin.
The onslaught from round 8 continued into the following round though sadly for Zaleta, Santa Cruz simply wouldn't stop and a straight right finally put Zaleta down with the referee waving the bout off with Zaleta unable to get up.
We now expect Santa Cruz to move up to Super Bantamweight where he will genuinely be a nightmare for anyone. For Victor Zaleta however it's likely to the hospital for him as he really took a bit of a beating, hopefully however Zaleta will get another chance against a less fighter somewhere down the line.