Leo Santa Cruz title defense and the weekend round up

Leo Santa Cruz, boxers, boxing, Rafael Rivera

Friday, February 15th from Hinckley, Minnesota

Rob Brant/Khasan Baysangurov

Rob Brant defeated Khasan Baysangurov by stoppage in the 11th , after a high volume of punches through the first 10 rounds.  Brant (25-1, 17 KO’s), dropped Baysangurov (17-1, 7 KO’s) with a clean right hand in the 2nd.  Baysangurov beat the count but bled heavily from his nose the rest of the fight.  Brant continued his assault and dropped him again in 11th.  Baysangurov once again beat the count but another onslaught of punches from Brant forced the referee to call the fight.

Brant is a top contender in the middleweight division for Canelo Alvarez, Danny Jacobs, and Demetrius Andrade’s titles.



Joshua “Nite Nite” Greer/Giovanni Escaner

Featherweight contender Joshua “Nite Nite” Greer overcame a 3rd round knockdown by knocking out Giovanni Escaner in the 8th.  Greer (20-1-1, 12 KO’s), was caught by a right hand from Escaner (19-4, 12 KO’s) at the end of the 3rd but got right back up and appeared fine.  Going forward, Greer began landing at a good rate and Escaner had no answers.  Greer landed a perfectly timed right hand to the body and Escaner was counted out in the 8th.

Afterwards Greer paraded around the ring with orange queen sized pillow that had “Nite Nite” written on it.  Lucky for Greer he wasn’t the one put to sleep.

Saturday, February 16th from Los Angeles, California

Leo Santa Cruz/Rafael Rivera

Leo Santa Cruz dominated Rafael Rivera and won by unanimous decision to retain his WBA featherweight belt.  Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KO’s), never stopped throwing punches and the two fighters exchanged combinations throughout the fight.  Rivera (26-3-2, 17 KO’s), was a late replacement for original opponent Miguel Flores but he stood his ground most of the fight.

Even with Rivera fighting hard, the fight was still a landslide.  It is time for Santa Cruz to step his competition up and face Gary Russell Jr., Josh Warrington or a third fight with Carl Frampton.

Omar Figueroa/John Molina Jr.

Omar Figueroa defeated John Molina Jr. by unanimous decision in an action packed fight, that had to be contracted at 145 pounds because Figueroa could not make the 140 pound limit.  Figueroa (28-0-1, 19 KO’s), showed a granite chin as he absorbed mega right hands from Molina most of the fight.  Molina (30-8, 24 KO’s), hadn’t fought for over a year and he just couldn’t land that knockout punch he was looking for during the match.

It’s hard to predict where Figueroa goes after this fight.  He looked out of shape and can’t make weight as a junior welterweight and is probably too small for welterweight.

Sebastian Fundora/Donnie Marshall

In this intriguing junior middleweight fight, 6-foot-7 Sebastian Fundora stopped Donnie Marshall in the 3rd.  Fundora (12-0, 8 KO’s), a southpaw, blitzed Marshall with a high punch output and floored him with an uppercut early in the 3rd round.  Marshall (10-1, 6 KO’s) beat the count but Fundora gave him no time to recover and unloaded a barrage of unanswered punches until the referee stopped the fight.

Fundora has looked unsturdy in his past fights but looked fantastic in this bout.  It’ll be interesting to see how long he can stay at 154 pounds at his height.



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