- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz will make his second defense against Victor Zaleta on Nov. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Monday.
Santa Cruz will be returning quickly following his dominant fifth-round knockout of former flyweight titlist Eric Morel on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
"I am so happy to be defending my title in front of a hometown crowd at Staples Center," Santa Cruz said. "I feel like I can really conquer anyone after my fight in September against Eric Morel, so Zaleta had better come prepared."
Santa Cruz-Zaleta will take place on the undercard of a Showtime-televised tripleheader that will also include the previously announced main event of junior featherweight titlist Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) defending against bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KOs), who is moving up in weight. Also on the card, junior middleweight contender Alfredo "Perro" Angulo (20-2, 17 KOs), who is returning after nearly a year out of the ring due to immigration issues, will face Raul Casarez (19-2, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout.
"This (Santa Cruz-Zaleta) fight is the perfect addition to this already stellar card," Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya said. "Leo Santa Cruz is going to do whatever he can to keep his title and remain undefeated, but I know Zaleta is coming to fight. This is going to be a toe-to-toe battle that fans are not going to want to miss."
Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 12 KOs), who recently parted ways with manager Cameron Dunkin and signed with Al Haymon, won a vacant 118-pound title in June with a near-shutout decision against Vusi Malinga of South Africa.
Zaleta (20-2-1, 10 KOs), of Mexico, will be getting his second shot at a world title. In February 2011, he traveled to Argentina and lost a virtual shutout decision to junior bantamweight titlist Omar Narvaez. Zaleta is 3-0-1 since, but is coming off a 12-round draw with Juan Jose Montes in June.
"This fight is something I have waited for since I started fighting," Zaleta said. "I am going to take advantage of this opportunity, become a world champion and make my name known."