As the anticipation rises for the Saturday, Sept. 15 “Knockout Kings” event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions is giving fight fans another reason to get excited with the addition of a third world title fight to the card, as Mexico native and unbeaten Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz defends his IBF Bantamweight World Championship against Puerto Rico’s former Two-Time World Champion Eric “Little Hands of Steel” Morel in a fight that is certain to write another chapter in boxing’s storied Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry.
24-year-old Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (20-0-1, 11 KO’s) joined the long line of boxing World Champions from Mexico on June 2, 2012, when he scored a near shutout 12 round unanimous decision win over Vusi Malinga to capture the IBF Bantamweight crown. It was the achievement of a goal Huetamo’s Santa Cruz set for himself when he turned professional in 2006 and after defeating the likes of Stephane Jamoye, Jose Lopez and Everth Briceno, he certainly earned his place at the top. Now he will make his first title defense against a man who knows what it’s like to be a world champion – Eric Morel.
A former world champion at flyweight and bantamweight, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Eric “Little Hands of Steel” Morel (46-3, 23 KO’s) has cemented his legacy as one of the finest lighter weight fighters of this era. With wins in 11 of his last 12 fights, with his only loss coming via decision in a challenge for the Super Bantamweight World Title against Abner Mares, the 36-year-old is far from finished in his quest to become a world champion again. To do that, he must show off the boxing skills and steel chin that have allowed him to dominate in the ring over the last 15 years, and when the bell rings on September 15, he’ll be prepared to do so.
“Knockout Kings,” is headlined by Canelo Alvarez defending his WBC Super Welterweight World Championship against breakout star Josesito Lopez. In the co-featured attractions, WBC Featherweight World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez defends his crown against former World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon, and former World Champion Marcos Maidana faces Jesus Soto Karass.