By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photo: Andy Samuelson / Premier Boxing Champions
Three division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) of Lincoln Heights by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico returned with an eighth round stoppage over Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs), of Lancaster, California Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California headlining Premier Boxing Champions on FOX.
Santa Cruz started slow but connected Avalos with the right hand in the opening round. The second round saw Santa Cruz pressing backing Avalos with one-two’s. Avalos and Santa Cruz stood trading in round three as Santa Cruz worked inside. A left hook by Santa Cruz landed clean as he staggered Avalos in the fourth following up with series of punches as the challenger held on and was saved by the bell.
All the momentum was in the champs favor halfway through the fight as he continued to let his hands go as Avalos was on the receiving end. Ripping away with the left hook to the body in the seventh Santa Cruz stayed on top of Avalos. However in the eighth after a series of punches from Santa Cruz referee Thomas Taylor stepped in and stopped Avalos from further damage stopping the fight at 1:34.
Santa Cruz successfully defends his WBA title as he now sets the stage for a rematch with Abner Mares.