Leo Santa Cruz vs Keenan Carbajal Preview Feb. 5th, 2022
Former world champion Leo Santa Cruz of Mexico returns to the ring this Saturday, February 5th in Las Vegas when he takes on Keenan Carbajal of Phoenix, Arizona in Las Vegas. It’s unclear if this is a 10 or 12 round featherweight bout but it can be seen live in America on Fox pay-per-view on the undercard of the Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios fight. It’s also going to be broadcast in the UK on the FITE network. Santa Cruz last fought on Halloween night of 2020 when he was stopped by Gervonta Davis in the sixth round with his WBA Super Featherweight Title and Davis’ WBA Lightweight Title also on the line at 130 lbs. Carbajal last boxed in November when he stopped Josean Figueroa Bonilla in the fourth round.
Santa Cruz vs Carbajal Betting Odds
- Keenan Carbajal +1000
- Leo Santa Cruz -2000
The 33-year-old Santa Cruz, who fights out of the Los Angeles area, has an impressive record of 37-2-1 with 19 Kos. He’s also won world bantamweight and junior featherweight titles since turning pro before moving up in weight to capture the vacant WBA Super World Featherweight Belt when he beat Abner Mares by majority decision in 2015. He stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 69-inch reach.
Santa Cruz is more of a volume puncher than a power puncher with a current knockout ratio of 47.5 per cent. He made his pro debut in 2006 and has boxed 267 rounds since with his biggest wins coming against Mares (twice), Carl Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Cristian Mijares, Miguel Flores, Rafael Rivera, Chris Avalos, Victor Terrazas and Eric Morel. Santa Cruz’s lone draw was a four-rounder against Rodrigo Hernandez in 2007.
His first defeat came at the hands of Frampton via majority decision in their first meeting in 2016 when he lost his title. Santa Cruz regained his crown via a majority decision over Frampton six months later and defended it four times before being upended by Davis. Santa Cruz isn’t averse to going toe-to-toe with his opponents as he also owns a pretty solid chin to go along with his boxing skills and is a fan favourite due to his style. He’s won most of his fights due to his relentless punching output and likes to work inside and trade shots even when he has the advantage in height and reach.
Keenan Carbajal is a 30-year-old who carries around a record of 23-2-1 with 15 Kos. He’s got 114 rounds of experience under his belt since making his pro debut in 2013 following a short amateur career. He’s built up a knockout ratio of 57.7 per cent since turning pro and has captured a few titles along the way such as the IBO International, WBC Latino and IBF Latino Featherweight Belts.
Carbajal is 5-feet-10-inches tall with an unlisted reach, which gives him a 2.5-inch height advantage over Santa Cruz. His two career defeats came at the hands of Wilberth Lopez by third-round stoppage back in 2013 n his pro debut and by six-round unanimous decision to Jair Quintero in 2015. Since then, he’s won all 18 of his fights.
His lone draw came in 2014 which was a six-round affair with John Herrera. Carbajal will be stepping up in class against Santa Cruz this weekend though as his biggest wins so far have been over Ernesto Guerrero, Gustavo Molina, Ruben Tostado Garcia and Carlos Carlson. In fact, just nine of his 26 opponents have entered the ring with winning records.
Santa Cruz is a world class boxer and a level or two above Carbajal. He’s expected to win and as long as he fights with his usual style he shouldn’t really have a problem on Saturday night. He was doing fine against Davis until getting clocked and as long as he’s over that defeat mentally should be ok this weekend. He still needs to respect Carbjal’s skills and power though and can’t afford to take him lightly.
Santa Cruz’s experience and skills should see him through.
Play: Santa Cruz -2000 @ BetOnline.ag
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