The campaign to make Leo Santa Cruz a household name is not over. Even in the last month of this year, Santa Cruz is still fighting heading into possibly the biggest fight of his career to date. Santa Cruz’ opponent may not be Abner Mares, Nonito Donaire, or Guillermo Rigondeaux like Santa Cruz would have hoped but the importance of this fight is of the same magnitude as any one of those possible match ups.
Santa Cruz is heading to town but this time straight to network work television. “Considering that six months ago I was just a guy fighting on undercards to now being picked to headline and defend my title on free network television is hard to believe. But I am so happy. It is a tremendous honor and something I am not taking lightly. I really want to thank my promoter, Golden Boy, my advisor, Al Hayman, CBS, SHOWTIME, and everyone involved for making this happen,” Santa Cruz said.
Santa Cruz in my opinion has been making a better case of himself to resonate to the fans with an all action, fan pleasing style and performances. That same style that would possibly dictate future big fights with the stars of his division, due to his growing namesake and popularity amongst the boxing public. “Winning the world title and making two defenses on SHOWTIME also had a lot to do with this happening for me. But this is also is validation for all the hard work I’ve put in my whole life. I wasn’t one of the guys in high school that once school was out went out and played. I went directly to the gym,” Santa Cruz expressed.
Boxing back on nationally televised network television is astronomical for the sport and what better spokesperson to debut it than Santa Cruz, a young man that’s not only charismatic but humble as well. Clearly demonstrating hard work and dedication which translate in the fashion to which he fights in the ring. Comparable only to the fictional character of Rocky IV Ivan Drago, Santa Cruz is a punching machine. His power may not be life threatening but his relentlessness and whirlwind of nonstop punches proved to be an overwhelming task for all his previous opponents.
Santa Cruz is becoming an unstoppable force. “Fans can look forward to seeing an exciting fight on Saturday. I know he’s a good boxer who will be looking at this as his opportunity of a lifetime. But I’ve fought boxers before. The way to beat them is to work the body, break them down, slow their movement and make them bang with me. This will not be an easy fight, but I’m ready and confident,” Santa Cruz explained.
Golden Boy Promotions and CBS couldn’t have picked a better person as the face of boxing, even if it’s just for a day. Hoping to captivate the minds of those that normal may not tune into the sport. Santa Cruz is just what the doctor order, guaranteed to make an appealing fight and alluring new wave of boxing fans and viewers. “This is such an unbelievable opportunity. To fight on CBS is the greatest exposure you can get. I’ve always considered myself a hard worker, but I have worked even harder for this. I’m always a little nervous but I’m already a little more nervous than usual. Fighting in the main event on CBS is just so unbelievably great,” Santa Cruz said.
It seems almost meant to be for Santa Cruz, signed to Golden Boy Promotions, whose partner is Bernard Hopkins, the last man to grace network television. Now one of the fighters under his promotions banner is being given that chance. “I think I was about nine-years-old the last time there was a live fight on CBS (January 20, 1997, Bernard Hopkins KO 11 over Glen Johnson). I don’t remember watching it, but I’m sure my Dad did,” Santa Cruz expressed.