By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
“El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) became a four-division world champion with a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision over Miguel “El Michoacan” Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA super featherweight “super” title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Judges scored the bout 117-110, 117-110, 115-112 for Santa Cruz.
Flores came out attacking as Santa Cruz was relaxed and measured with the jab. Stalking in the second, Santa Cruz began to dig the body with the left hook as Flores kept punching away. A right by Santa Cruz in the third shook up Flores as Santa Cruz began to let his hands go. Flores began to circle around and keep his distance in the fourth as Santa Cruz was on the offensive.
Working patiently in the fifth, Santa Cruz connected Flores as he extended and landed flush. Fighting at a very fast pace in the sixth, Santa Cruz just outworked a fading Flores. A right hand by Flores in the seventh landed cleanly but Santa Cruz kept pressure coming. In the eighth, referee Tony Weeks deducted a point away from Flores for holding as Santa Cruz kept fighting his fight.
In the ninth, Santa Cruz landed a solid right hand and later complained about a low blow as referee Tony Weeks told him to stop holding Flore’s head down. A clash of heads in the tenth caused a cut above the left eye of Santa Cruz as he was bleeding. In the championship rounds Flores targeted the cut and kept his distance boxing. It wasn’t the best Santa Cruz performance as he outworked Flores, credit to Flores in going the distance.