Lightweight contender Jose Armando Santa Cruz, who rightfully should have won the lightweight championship last November, was knocked out in the sixth round by 38-year old Colombian slugger Antonio Pitalua last night in Monterrey.
Pitalua (46-3, 40 KO) hadn't fought a real opponent in...well, almost this entire decade. This is exactly why I was so reluctant to consider Santa Cruz more than a guy that caught Joel Casamayor on the right/wrong night -- he's just not that good, and has never shown great skills in any one department. Even his shoulda-been decisive win against Casamayor didn't display any real skill from Santa Cruz; it was more that Casamayor did nothing.
It doesn't help Santa Cruz that he didn't fight again until July, when he ran over total can Miguel Munguia.
Any remote hope that Santa Cruz had of getting into the very crowded lightweight title picture is now completely gone, and Pitalua, puncher that he is, isn't going to find an opponent too easily, either.
And, as always, Beware Unheralded Colombian Sluggers. Santa Cruz isn't the first to bite the dust against one of these bangers, and he won't be the last. What do these guys drink?