Leo Santa Cruz traded a lot of leather with Jose Cayetano in the other undercard bout for Mayweather vs Pacquiao, winning a shutout decision in a fight that was more competitive than the first.
Santa Cruz made his full featherweight debut, and nothing changed about his punch volume, which is super-high. It seemed as though there was at least a chance it affected his punching power, because he never moved Cayetano.
Cayetano circled and landed some counters. Mainly, he got bounced off the ring ropes comically with every punch that landed from the physically larger Santa Cruz. Cayetano never appeared hurt or discouraged, fighting at an even measure that just wasn’t good enough.
The scores, 100-90 across the board, were perfectly accurate. It still was a fight where the opponent — an auto insurance salesman by day — was able to offer resistance, something Gamalier Rodriguez wasn’t able to do in the other featherweight bout on the card, vs Vasyl Lomachenko.
A neophyte to the sport might naturally have wondered whether Lomachenko-Santa Cruz was next; it won’t be, because Santa Cruz was here to show off for Showtime and Lomachenko here to show off for HBO.
Instead, if Santa Cruz faces Abner Mares next (something he said he wanted) it’d be a huge step-up from the kind of competition Santa Cruz has been facing, including Saturday. It’s overdue. Let’s get it done already.
(Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime)