Just hours ahead of a scheduled purse bid, WBA “super” featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz and “world” champion Leigh Wood successfully came to terms for their title consolidator, which is “tentatively scheduled” for November 5th or 12th.
It’s definitely a surprise that this fight came together, though not an unwelcome one. Both Wood (26-2, 16 KO) and Eddie Hearn have been railing against the planned 75/25 purse split for weeks without ever bringing up the status of their negotiations with PBC, and Hearn had brought up the possibility of his charge facing Mauricio Lara instead to set up an eventual clash with Josh Warrington. Whether that was all misdirection or Hearn genuinely did not believe a deal was possible until the last minute, it looks like things worked out well for everyone.
And good thing, too, because this is a damn good fight on its own merits. Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KO) finally faces a legitimate featherweight threat for the first time in four years and Wood gets the chance to scrape the asterisk off of his “world champion” status. The clash of styles between Santa Cruz’s avalanche of punches and Wood’s monster right hand should produce a fun scrap, too.