Leo Santa Cruz will defend his IBF bantamweight title against Alberto Guevara on December 15, when Golden Boy Promotions brings boxing back to network TV with a special afternoon show on CBS, part of their three-channel effort that will also include fights on Showtime Extreme in the evening, followed by Amir Khan vs Carlos Molina on Showtime.
Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KO) has gone 3-0 on Showtime this year, his breakout campaign, winning the vacant IBF title against Vusi Malinga on June 2, beating Eric Morel on September 15, and on November 10, topping Victor Zaleta.
His short turnaround to fight yet again in 2012 (he also fought in January, beating solid veteran Alejandro Hernandez) is just part of the reason boxing fans have taken so easily to him this year. The bigger part, of course, is his insane punch output and dedicated body punching, both of which we'll surely see on display again.
Guevara (16-0, 6 KO) is a Mexican fighter with a couple of decent wins this year over Khabir Suleymanov and Raul Hidalgo, but in truth is not considered a serious contender in the division. The fight will mark his U.S. debut.
Also appearing on Showtime will be 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph "Jo-Jo" Diaz Jr, making his professional debut. Diaz had about as good a run as anyone on the American men's team in London, eventually losing to top-rated Cuban Lazaro Alvarez before the medal rounds.
But it was a competitive showing for the 19-year-old southpaw, whose style looks like it should easily translate to the pro ranks. Diaz competed at bantamweight (123 lbs) in the Olympics. He was the youngest member of the squad.
Showtime Sports executive VP Stephen Espinoza is pleased to be part of presenting such a unique day and night of boxing.
"We are proud to deliver one of today's most exciting fighters in Leo Santa Cruz, taking on an undefeated challenger in Alberto Guevara, to a broadcast television audience," he said.
"Coupled with the pro debut of Olympian Jo-Jo Diaz on CBS and the evening's Showtime Championship Boxing event makes December 15 a very special day for boxing."