Saturday, 15 December 2012

Leo Santa Cruz v Alberto Guervara

Just 35 days after defeating Victor Zaleta, IBF Bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13) scored his fifth win of the year and made the third defense of his title as he beat the previously unbeaten and thoroughly game Alberto Guervara (16-1, 6) who became just the 2nd man in the last 13 fights to see the final bell against Santa Cruz.

The bout started amazingly well for Guevara who used excellent hand speed and movement to out box Santa Cruz at range, stopping the champion from getting close where he likes to work. This saw Guevara clearly winning the opening 2 rounds and arguably claiming the first 4 as he made Santa Cruz look almost slow and clumsy.

Thankfully for the champion Guevara started to slow, especially in the middle rounds as the champion made his charge and started to achieve more and more success against the light hitting challenger. As Santa Cruz started to get closer he started to rattle off hard, hurtful shots to Guevara's body further slowing the challenger's feet. This paid off in the later rounds as Guevara's work rate dropped and his excellent boxing early in the bout turned into little more than running.

Although the bout was fairly level going into the championship rounds it was obvious that Santa Cruz was still in the ascendancy and it showed as he rocked Guevara time and time again in the later rounds really checking the heart of the challenger who continued to prove he was game, but ultimately out gunned.

Whilst this is likely Santa Cruz's last fight at Bantamweight it's fair to say that Guevara could come again and he genuinely could claim a world title down the line. Many, myself included, expected this to be a bowl over job though Guevara was genuinely impressive and will certainly come again.

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