IBF bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, 24, and Eric Morel, 36 battled tooth and nail with the younger Cruz eventfully wearing Morel down to stop him in round five at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Santa Cruz’s commitment to the body started in the first
round. He stalked Morel constantly throwing strong punches. Morel fired
back landing a few uppercuts, but none slowing Santa Cruz down. The
young champions work rate was too much for Morel throughout the bout.
Each round was a carbon copy of the first. Santa Cruz's left hook
couldn't miss Morel’s chin.
In round four, Santa Cruz (25-0, 12
KOs) landed a vicious combination that staggered the former champion.
Santa Cruz had landed 89 body punches through four rounds.
(46-4, 23 KOs) came out moving in round five. Santa Cruz was back in
charge after the two-minute mark. His unyielding attack continued on the
body of Morel. A hard combination dazed Morel. On his stool and looking
dazed, Morel’s corner decided that he was taking to much punishment and
called the fight.
There was no protest from Morel.The victory was the most impressive of Santa Cruz's career.
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