In the second bout of Showtime’s Dec. 14th Championship Boxing broadcast, Leo Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 knockouts) defended his junior featherweight title against rising prospect, Cesar Seda (25-2, 17 knockouts). Thanks to his status as both a still-rising prospect and as a normally super bantamweight fighter, many expected an easy night’s work for Santa Cruz. After all, Santa Cruz had be crushing all of his previous opponents and talked as if he’d only go higher in weight with each increasingly impressive victory behind him. Seda may have stalled the talk of Santa Cruz’ eventual move to featherweight, but he also helped prove that Santa Cruz is one of the most talented champions in the sport today.
At the start of the opening round, Santa Cruz sent a clear message to Seda by throwing a powerful right hand that managed to be blocked. This led to the fight quickly turning into a battle of the jabs as both did their best to not only establish their jab, but their distance as well. Both fighters went on to showcase tremendous punching speed throughout the round, but it was Santa Cruz who manage to land a counter right that quickly got Seda’s attention.
Round by round this trend continued at an ever noticeable pace. Although Seda managed to match Santa Cruz’ speed, it was clear that Cruz had a significant power advantage while also carrying the added weight better. The two fighters quickly went on to attempt to counter the other, and for the most part both showed success. Still, there was no denying that Santa Cruz was closing each round landing the cleaner and more significant shots. This masterful placement of shots is what distanced him from Seda on the scorecards.
Seda and Santa Cruz kept on this relentless pace and pattern of counter punches well throughout the fight, but it was in round 5 that Santa Cruz managed to successfully knockdown his opponent. Even with the knockdown however, Seda managed to stay right in front of Santa Cruz and remained as relentless in his offense as ever.
Aside from the eighth round which saw an introduction of some slick uppercuts by both fighters, not much changed throughout the bout. Seda was gradually beginning to slow by the 9th round, but that didn’t stop him from doing his best to steal the title from Santa Cruz. Both fighters continued trading hellacious blows, but it was clear by the end that Santa Cruz was the better and more effective fighter.
Following an exciting 12th round, the judges scored the unanimous decision in favor of Santa Cruz with the scores (116-111), (115-112), and (117-112). For Santa Cruz it’s another dominant decision win and title defense, but this was by no means a loss for Seda. Fighting above his natural weight, Seda managed to keep up with a man some see as a future star amongst the lighter weight classes. This performance is gonna do wonders for his career, and both men proved that they’ll be names worth remembering in the years to come.