Santa Cruz cherishes title, ready for more
August, 27, 2013
By Rodrigo Azurmendi | Special to ESPNDeportes.com
Harry How/Getty ImagesLeo Santa Cruz didn't expect a quick finish of Victor Terrazas, but struck when he had his chance.
CARSON, Calif. -- The Stub Hub Center fits Leo Santa Cruz like a glove ... a boxing glove, that is.
The former bantamweight titlist added a junior featherweight belt to his trophy case, once again making personal history here in Carson, where he defeated Victor Terrazas by third-round TKO.
Santa Cruz, a Mexican native who now lives in Rosemead, Calif., has had his heart set on a title from the WBC -- the sanctioning body based in Mexico City -- for quite some time.
"This was my dream as a child, and I started boxing when I was eight," Santa Cruz said. "This was my favorite belt, and now that I have it I can't believe it."
Santa Cruz was especially pleased to earn the title in his adoptive home of Southern California.
"There's a lot of joy for me because my home is here," Santa Cruz said. "To me, it's a great emotion because of the fans support."
Cruz was surprised at how quickly the end came against Terrazas.
"I didn't think it was going to be that easy," he said. "I thought it was going to be longer and that we would go the distance, but I saw that he couldn't stand the pressure and that I was hurting him."
The key moment came in the second round, when Santa Cruz's punches hurt Terrazas' right eye. That's when Santa Cruz knew he had to go all-in.
"In the second round, I saw his eye was swelling," he said. "When I saw him, I said to myself, 'I have to attack him to get this over with.'"
Santa Cruz said he would like to return to the ring as soon as possible, and didn't discount the idea of facing Jhonny Gonzalez, who stunned Abner Mares in a first-round knockout win to take back his featherweight title in the card's main event.
"The faster, the better," Santa Cruz said of his return. "If they tell me next month, I'm ready. Hopefully I can fight again this year. I would be willing to fight [Gonzalez] if my promoters say so. I don't say no to anyone."
Santa Cruz said that he would defend the title once or twice more before moving up in class again.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said after the fight that Santa Cruz could return to the ring as soon as November, on an unspecified card.