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Gonzalez with the Upset; Santa Cruz spectacular

Cruz hammers Terrazas (Photo © German Villasenor)
Cruz hammers Terrazas (Photo © German Villasenor)

By: Mike Sloan (

Jhonny Gonzalez has had some terrific wins in his stellar career leading into his Showtime-televised showdown with unbeaten Abner Mares on Saturday. After torching Mares with a sensation left hook and successive punches, it’s possible he may never, ever get a better victory.


A veteran of over 60 pro fights, Gonzalez entered the bout as a prohibitive underdog. Mares had yet to officially taste defeat as a pro and most predicted that he would walk out of the StubHubCenter in Carson, California with his unblemished record still in tact.


That was all before a sizzling left hook dropped Mares halfway through the opening round. It was a perfect shot, one that the Mexican-American never saw coming. He beat the count, but when the fight resumed, it was apparent that Mares was in serious peril.

Gonzalez, who hails from Mexico City, intelligently swarmed his foe and dished out a series of punches that inevitably ended the battle. The flurry of blows was punctuated by another powerful left hook followed by a right hand, prompting referee Jack Reiss to stop it. There were only five seconds remaining in the round.


After the bout, Gonzalez (55-8, 47 KOs) proclaimed it was “the single greatest and most glorious moment” of his life, a victory that could set up a huge bout with unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz, who won in the night’s co-main event. Gonzalez said that he felt disrespected entering the bout because, as he said, all everybody was talking about was how great Mares was. The chip on his shoulder proved invaluable because he used that as the catalyst to flatten Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs) and take the featherweight belt he held. Mares said he was okay with the Reiss’ decision to stop the fight, though he felt he could have continued.


Santa Cruz’s night lasted a bit longer but was just as spectacular as Gonzalez’s; he stopped opponent Victor Terrazas in the third round. In typical Santa Cruz fashion, the Los Angeles-based Mexico native was all over the defending super bantamweight title holder until Terrazas couldn’t handle anymore pressure.


Santa Cruz tore into his foe with seeming reckless abandonment and eventually the pressure forced Terrazas to wilt in the second. After a cut opened under Terrazas’ right eye, a massive flurry of punches sent him to canvas. Santa Cruz poured on the offense even more in the third and after knocking him down halfway through the frame, the end was near. Finally, referee Lou Moret stopped the assault at the 2:09 mark of the third, allowing Santa Cruz to improve to 25-0-1 with 15 KOs.


It was another sensational performance by Santa Cruz, who could potentially lock horns with Gonzales early next year. For his efforts, Terrazas, of Guadalajara, dipped to 37-3-1 with 21 KOs.


Also on the card:

In a battle of featherweights, 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. (7-0, 5 KO’s) of South El Monte, CA., was impressive with a third round knockout (1:54) over Noel Mendoza (6-3-1, 1 KO), of Phoenix.


In heavyweight action, 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale (6-0, 6 KO’s), of Los Angeles, passed the stiffest test of his young career via TKO in the fifth round against Lenroy Thomas (16-3, 8 KO’s) of St. Catherine, Jamaica.


The complete results:

WBC featherweight title          Jhonny Gonzalez    w KO 1   Abner Mares  

WBC super bantamweight title Leo Santa Cruz w tko 3 Victor Terrazas     

light welterweight Antonio Orozco w ko 3 Ivan Hernandez   

super bantamweight Jesus Ruiz         w pts 8 Enrique Quevedo                   

featherweight  Rey Vargas     w ko 4 Juanito Rubillar          

heavyweight    Dominic Breazeale     w ko 4 Lenroy Thomas          

featherweight  Julian Ramirez            w tko 1            Abraham Rubio          

super middleweight     Ronald Gavril  w ko 7 Dave Courchaine            

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