WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico successfully defended his title as he scored a fifth round stoppage over former world champion Kiko Martinez of Spain, Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on the Showtime Championship Boxing main event. Santa Cruz began working with the jab at the opening bell moments later an overhand right dropped Martinez as he got up. A counter right by Santa Cruz sent Martinez for a second time as Martinez continued to fight on surviving the round. Martinez threw a wide punch early in round two as Santa Cruz went down but referee Raul Caiz ruled it a slip, the champ mixed it up keeping his distance and getting inside. The third round saw the two fighters mixing it up inside as Martinez was cut below the right eye. Santa Cruz boxed as at a distance in round four as Martinez pressured stalking the champ.
In round five Santa Cruz continued to keep his distance boxing and countering with Martinez continuing to pressure. Santa Cruz backed Martinez to the ropes with a flurry as referee Raul Caiz Sr. stepped in to stop the fight at 2:09. Santa Cruz retains his WBA featherweight title and remains undefeated at 32-0-1, 18 KO's. Kiko Martinez goes to 35-7, 26 KO's.
Mexican featherweights WBC super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz met for a second time. The two squared off back in August with Ceja coming off the canvas and rallying to stop Ruiz as they picked up where they left off in their rematch. A huge overhand right by Ruiz seconds into the fight sent Ceja to the canvas as he got up the challenger continued his attack on the champion as referee stopped the fight at 51 seconds of the first round.
Hugo Ruiz evens the score in winning the rematch and WBC super bantamweight title as he improves to 36-3, 31 KO's. Julio Ceja goes to 30-2, 27 KO's.
Dominican featherweight Claudio Marrero won a unanimous decision over Jonathan Arellano of Ontario, California in a scheduled ten rounder. The southpaw Marrero was slick and aggressive, Arellano pressed forward early on. A short right hook to the head by Marrero knockdown Arellano in round three as he got up going right at Marrero. Marrero worked Arellano on the inside in round four. The Dominican fighter stalked Arellano in the fifth round as he kept his distance. The sixth and final round saw Marrero back Arellano to the ropes as all three judges scored the bout 60-53.
Claudio Marrero improves to 20-1, 11 KO's. Jonathan Arellano goes to 16-7-2, 4 KO's.
Undefeated featherweight Rey Vargas of Guadalajara, Mexico stopped Christian Esquivel in three rounds in a scheduled ten round bout. The taller Vargas used his distance and boxed early on landing big punches. In what appeared to be a low blow by Vargas in round two dropped Esquivel as he got and continued to fight. Vargas continued his assault in round three as the corner threw in the towel the referee Zachary Young stopped the fight at 1:01.
Rey Vargas stays undefeated improving his record to 26-0, 21 KOs. Christian Esquivel goes to 28-9, 21 KO's.
South Korea's Min Wook Kim won a unanimous decision over Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico in a scheduled eight round super lightweight bout. Kim boxed well from a distance behind the jab and landed big punches in the opening round. Fighting on the inside in round two, Kim landed a solid right on Ortiz. Continuing to control Ortiz with the jab Kim was on his feet and cut on the right eye in round four. The Mexican fighter was aggressive but that was not enough as Kim out boxed Ortiz in route to a unanimous decision.
With the win Min Wook Kim improves his mark to 14-1, 11 KOs. Alvaro Ortiz goes to 7-7-1, 5 KO's
2012 U.S. Olympian cruiserweight Michael Hunter of Las Vegas made quick work of Phil Williams of Minnesota stopping him in the first round in a scheduled eight round bout. A series of punches by Hunter knockdown Williams as he got up and did not want to continue the referee stopped the fight at 2:44.
Michael Hunter stays undefeated as a prospect improving to 11-0, 8 KOs. Phil Williams goes to 15-8-2, 14 KOs
In what was an action packed fight Antonio Santa Cruz and Jorge Perez went the distance in a scheduled four round bantamweight bout. Santa Cruz and Perez boxed inside a phone booth for the entire fight as they exchanged continuously. In the end all three judges scored the bout 39-37 as Antonio Santa Cruz wins a unanimous decision.
Antonio Santa Cruz evens his record at 2-2. Jorge Perez goes to 2-1.
Opening up the card from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California undefeated super lightweight prospect Anthony Flores of Los Angeles stopped Carlos Aguilera of Mexico in a scheduled eight round bout. A counter left hook by Flores in round two dropped Aguilera as he got up to finish the round. Flores was too much for Aguilera as he outclassed and outworked him in route to a fifth round stoppage as series of punches forced referee Zachary Young to the stop the fight at 26 seconds of round five.
Anthony Flores now stands at 10-0, 6 KO's. Carlos Aguilera goes to 10-16, 4 KO's.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla