This Saturday night, Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1-19 KO) will take on Miguel Flores (24-2-12 KO) for the vacant WBA super featherweight (130 lbs) title. The fight will act as the co-main event for the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz Pay-Per-View. Santa Cruz will be stepping up to 130 pounds for the first time and will seek to add yet another title to his collection.
Miguel Flores on the other hand has fought at both at featherweight and super featherweight. He is naturally the larger man but is still a massive underdog going into the fight. Regardless of the outcome, this is sure to be a fire fight. How do these to two match up? Let’s see.
Leo Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz is coming off a victory over Rafael Rivera (27-4-2, 18KOs). He is currently on a four fight win streak since losing to Carl Frampton back in 2016, which he avenged in 2017. Santa Cruz is one of the most underrated fighters in the sport and has won titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds. He holds victories over Carl Frampton (26-2, 15KOs), Abner Mares (x2) (31-3-1, 15KOs), Kiko Martinez (39-9-2, 28KOs) and Chris Avalos (27-6, 20KOs). He now seeks to win another title (albeit not against the strongest opponent) at 130 pounds. Apart from his credentials, Santa Cruz is an all action fighter throwing a plethora of punches every single round and has underrated boxing skills. He is the big favorite going into this fight and its not hard to see why.
Miguel Flores is currently on a two fight win streak since losing to Chris Avalos (27-6, 20KOs) back in 2017. Although it is worth mentioning, those two opponents aren’t anywhere near the top level. In fact, no one Flores has fought up to this point is anywhere near the level of Leo Santa Cruz and it is going to take a monumental effort from Flores if he is going to defeat him and capture the title. He is a fighter who can both box and brawl and his best chance at victory would be forcing the naturally smaller Santa Cruz in a brawl. His size would be a determining factor if he is able to pull off what would be one of the biggest upsets of 2019. Maybe 130 proves a step to far for Santa Cruz, or maybe Flores puts it all together for one night and becomes the new WBA super featherweight champion.
Final Thoughts & Prediction
Honestly speaking, this is a weak co-main event for a pay-per-view card that is not generating a lot of noise. It would have made sense if the main event was a fight so intriguing that the rest of the card didn’t matter. However, Wilder-Ortiz II is not that, and would have benefited from a much stronger co-main event than Santa Cruz vs. Flores. I expect Santa Cruz to show off his boxing-brawl style and largely out box Flores with one or two rounds featuring heated exchanges. Flores will come to fight but will be outmatched. While I don’t think Santa Cruz stops Flores, I think he wins an easy and clear decision.
Prediction : 118-110 Leo Santa Cruz