Leo Santa Cruz, the reigning IBF bantamweight champion and one of boxing's quickest rising young talents, will make his return to the ring on November 10 as part of Showtime's Mares vs Moreno card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 12 KO) is quickly becoming a fan favorite for his all-action style after a pair of wins on Showtime this year have exposed him to a wider audience. On June 2, he dominated Vusi Malinga to win the vacant title over 12 rounds, and on September 15, he pulverized Eric Morel, forcing the Puerto Rican veteran to quit after five rounds.
The 24-year-old Santa Cruz doesn't have an opponent yet for the November 10 date, and the IBF doesn't have anyone ranked at No. 1 or No. 2. There is an eliminator set for October 20 between Jamie McDonnell and Malinga (why Malinga gets another eliminator, I don't know -- he hasn't done anything since getting routed by Santa Cruz), but I don't think anyone is expecting a blowaway-type opponent here. As long as they get someone solid, I'm sure the fight will be well-received.
Also scheduled for the undercard is Alfredo Angulo, who will fight for the first time since being brutalized by James Kirkland in November of last year. He also hasn't had the chance to train much this year, as he was held for months in an ICE detention center in California.
Angulo will face Raul Casarez, in what should amount to a pure tune-up fight. Chris Arreola was previously mentioned as an undercard attraction, as well, but has no opponent yet, and isn't noted as attending Tuesday's press conference.