The scores 119-109 and 120-108 twice.
The two-division champion Santa Cruz put on a brilliant performance in his second successful 122-pound title defense, suffocating his opponent with more than 1,000 punches in what seemed like target practice against the former world champ. Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KOs) showcased a tremendously effective uppercut, pressing forward throughout the fight despite a deep gash above his right eye that was caused by an accidental clash of heads.
“This is my dream come true,” Santa Cruz said. “Mijares is a great boxer, but I came here to do what I had to do to beat him. Of course he’s very experienced and we had to be 100 percent. We practiced with lefties so we could be ready for everything.
“The blood was going to my eyes sometimes but it didn’t bother me. If Carl Frampton is next, I want him next. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Mijares (49-8-2, 24 KOs) admitted he was frustrated by Santa Cruz’s consistent pressure.
“I did my job. It was difficult for me but I did everything I could,” Mijares said. “It was difficult because of Leo’s reach. He threw a lot of punches but he never hurt me.”
For a complete ringside report:
Canelo stops Angulo in Round 10 by John J. Raspanti.