Leo Santa Cruz had to earn his way to a victory against a very game Alberto Guevara as boxing returned to CBS.
Betting odds don't always tell the whole story of a fight and they certainly didn't this afternoon as boxing returned to CBS. Leo Santa Cruz was expected to run through Alberto Guevara in the main event of the broadcast, but Guevara came with a real fight in mind.
In the early rounds Guevara used solid movement to dictate spacing and choose when to engage and when to get out, digging to the body or popping combinations to the head before getting out of range. He'd then switch up his attack to counterpunching. The mix of styles left Santa Cruz back on his heels early, unable to be the whirlwind of punches fans are so accustomed to seeing from him and giving Alberto an early lead on the Bad Left Hook scorecard.
As the fight wore on Santa Cruz started to find his range and timing while Guevara slowed down just enough to let Leo's flurries get home. The second half of the fight was basically all Santa Cruz as the game Guevara wasn't able to continue to find success and couldn't keep his punch output high enough to keep Santa Cruz away.
By the end of the fight it appeared that Guevara was close to going away as Santa Cruz dug to the body and head, seemingly hurting him with every connection.
While Bad Left Hook scored the fight 116-112 for Santa Cruz, two of the official judges didn't see it as particularly close with scores reading 116-112 (yay!), 118-110 (boo!) and 119-109 (BOO!) for Santa Cruz.
Following the fight Santa Cruz said that he had issues over the past few days with his nose, not thinking it was broken but just that it was giving him trouble breathing. He also mentioned that he thought he hurt one of his hands which affected his performance some.
This was a great fight for CBS though, competitive throughout and with the promotional darling getting the victory but still having to earn it.
Let's hope the ratings are solid and that CBS sees reason to continue to invest time and money into putting boxing on the network.