Yesterday afternoon, boxing returned to CBS for the first time in 15 years as Golden Boy and Showtime teamed up to put on an entertaining 12-round bantamweight title fight, won by Leo Santa Cruz via unanimous decision.
The scheduled televised co-feature had to be scrapped after the previous college basketball game ran into overtime (Butler upset top-ranked Indiana), but Joseph Diaz Jr did make his pro debut successfully, beating Vicente Alfaro via four-round decision. Fellow 2012 Olympians Marcus Browne (KO-1 over Ritchie Cherry) and Errol Spence (TKO-3 over Richard Andrews) were also victorious.
Leo Santa Cruz
"I want to thank Al Haymon, Golden Boy and all of my supporters because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to fight on CBS. I'm sorry I didn't give as good of a show today. I felt a little different. I couldn't breathe after the third round, so I had to breathe through my mouth. I messed up my right hand in sparring -- that's why I moved to southpaw.
"I usually throw more body shots, but he was running too much. I have been fighting a lot in the last several months and didn't give my body enough time to rest."
"I think I did great. I was very tough for him. Leo is very good, very tough and very strong. I know I hurt him in the 12th round, but he hurt me in the fifth.
"I said that I was going to be in there and not run around. I had to stay with my style and box. I felt like I trained for one and a half men. They called us for the fight three weeks ago."
Joseph Diaz Jr
"It felt great to turn pro. I need to get my timing down as a professional, but overall it was a great experience. It was great motivation to fight in my hometown of LA. I wanted to put on a good show and I think I did. Hopefully I will get in there again in January or February."