Tonight at 10:00 pm EST on Showtime, Leo Santa Cruz returns to defend his WBA featherweight title against Kiko Martinez in the main event from Anaheim, with Julio Ceja facing Hugo Ruiz in a super bantamweight title rematch in the co-feature.
Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KO) has won world titles at 118, 122, and 126 pounds already in his career, and tonight looks to make a successful first defense of his featherweight belt against gritty veteran Martinez (35-6, 26 KO), a former titleholder at 122 who has moved up to featherweight in search of more gold.
Ceja (30-1, 27 KO) and Ruiz (35-3, 31 KO) also featured on the undercard for Santa Cruz's last fight in August, throwing down for a five-round barnburner where both men hit the canvas. More of the same is expected in tonight's rematch, which will be for the WBC 122-pound title that Ceja won in that fight, formerly held by Santa Cruz.
BLH will be here for live round by round coverage of both fights.
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Leo Santa Cruz def. Kiko Martinez by TKO (2:09 of round 5)
Hugo Ruiz def. Julio Ceja by TKO (0:51 of round 1)
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ROUND BY ROUND
LEO SANTA CRUZ vs KIKO MARTINEZ
Round 1: Martinez comes out throwing a hook. He's coming straight forward. Martinez down on a counter right hand in 30 seconds! He's up and Santa Cruz is going for the finish. Martinez standing his ground and throwing bombs back. This is ALL action so far. Both guys just winging shots. Martinez down again with 1:15 left! Santa Cruz's length is killing Martinez, who is refusing to take a step back. Santa Cruz starting to land to the body, too. But Martinez is still there, taking hard shots upstairs and throwing his own punches constantly. Santa Cruz 10-7
Round 2: Martinez right back at it this round, marching forward. Santa Cruz falls after getting clipped, but feet were tangled too, no knockdown. LSC threw 140 punches in R1. Santa Cruz landing again. This is a BRUTAL fight so far. Martinez just eating vicious shots and coming back. Martinez doing some solid work this round. Santa Cruz 10-9, 20-16
Round 3: This is a rare uppercut war. Martinez constantly standing in the pocket. Santa Cruz doing work, digging to the body now. Both guys slowing a hair this round, because how could they not? The pace has been absurd. Leo not landing cleanly as much this round, but still landing plenty. Martinez pushing Leo around a little bit, too. Leo's nose is bloodied. He just keeps throwing. So does Kiko. This is a war. Santa Cruz 10-9, 30-25
Round 4: Martinez, again, just marching forward. Going right at Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz winding up on the ropes a lot, but still lets his hands go constantly. Leo's just landing the more effective punches. You can't argue with the work Kiko is doing -- it's his style, and only chance to win this fight -- but he's not winning the rounds. Leo working himself around the ring, back to the ropes, and then slipping away to find some separation. Effective, safer round for Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz 10-9, 40-34
Round 5: Martinez doing the same. Santa Cruz clips him about 1:40 in, and now he's blitzing Martinez with the challenger trapped in the corner. Santa Cruz just winging shots constantly. Raul Caiz taking a close look, and he steps in! Santa Cruz TKO-5
JULIO CEJA vs HUGO RUIZ
Round 1: HUGE RIGHT HAND AND DOWN GOES JULIO CEJA! He's up and fighting but we'll see what's what here. Ruiz pressuring for the finish. He's throwing both hands and landing. Ceja may have injured his leg, too, AND THIS FIGHT IS OVER! Ruiz TKO-1