Friday, February 26, 2016

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Kiko Martinez

Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, Feb. 27
TV: Showtime
By Peter Lim

Martinez was previously stopped by Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, both of whom would be slight underdogs if matched against Santa Cruz. Granted, styles make fights, but there's nothing too mysterious or cagey about Martinez's one-dimensional chug-forward style. Unless Martinez has some trick up his sleeve that we've never seen before, he will be custom-made for Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) can essentially do what Martinez does with more finesse and firepower. He willingly engages the Spaniard and effortlessly outguns the Spaniard in the exchanges up close and personal. Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs) knows no other way to fight and valiantly attempts to out-brawl the Californian only to be met with pinpoint punches upstairs and down. Santa Cruz's debilitating shots take a cumulative toll causing Martinez to wilt in the seventh round.

Martinez was more relentless and resilient than expected but so was Santa Cruz.

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