New WBA (sup) 126 lb champion, Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17ko), has announced that he intends to vacate his WBC super bantamweight title and continue to campaign at featherweight.
The unbeaten Mexican, who is looked after by the elusive and influential Al Haymon, has landed in China ready to attend this years WBC convention, whereby he intends to inform them of his plans.
Santa Cruz, captured the (vacant) WBA (sup) strap in August’s thrilling ‘Battle of LA’ against Mexican-American rival, Abner Mares, and after careful consideration feels that is where he now best belongs, especially as his frame had seemingly outgrown the super-bantamweight division anyhow.
“I came to thank the World Council and Mauricio Sulaiman for giving me the opportunity to be WBC champion of the world and I ask that in the future I can again be given the opportunity to fight for one of its championships, as it is what every boxer dreams,” he said to ESPN Desportes.
“I intend now to stay at 126lbs,” he added.
After gaining an unwanted reputation as something of a cherry-picker at 122 among devoted fans of the sport, Santa Cruz is keen to shake that tag for good at the new weight and pursue bigger fights and opportunities on the back of his showing in the Mares fight.
One logical fight that is being mooted for the California-based fighter is a 2016 unification with IBF champion, Lee Selby, a fellow Al Haymon fighter. The Welshman just beat Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel on his US debut, and is reportedly looking at a big UK fight with domestic rival, Josh Warrington, before then ostensibly seeking out the unification with Santa Cruz next spring/summer.
There is also the option of a future fight with WBC champion, Gary Russell Jr, or the Top Rank promoted WBO champ, Vasyl Lomachenko, who Santa Cruz’s father Jose, took to calling out on his son’s behalf after the Mares victory in August.