Leo Santa Cruz vs Rafael Rivera Scorecard by Gold


scorecard by GOLD
Round
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Total
LEO SANTA CRUZ
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
119
RAFAEL RIVERA
10
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
109

Fight:



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Leo Santa Cruz

Rafael Rivera



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Comments

Gold's picture

Kind of getting tired of Santa Cruz fighting this level of guy. If the Russell Jr fight doesn't happen by the end of the year obviously someone doesn't want it to happen. It is a logical fight and should be easy to make as an in house fight for PBC.

Champion97's picture

I think it will. 2 fights a year, 1 meaningful fight a year, I think that's alright, but Santa Cruz vs Russell should definitely happen this year.

Gold's picture

Santa Cruz said he wanted to fight in June or July and have three fights this year, so I assume we will have another mismatch coming.

Gold's picture

It's probably going to be the Frampton trilogy now that I think about it. I don't really want to see that either, Frampton has declined significantly in my opinion.

Champion97's picture

Not after he lost to Warrington, I doubt that fight will happen now. Frampton has defining declined, but also, Warrington is underrated, he is another fighter who you wouldn't have thought would achieve what he has achieved, but he just got two very good wins, beating Selby and Frampton.

Gold's picture

I think the fight makes sense for both sides, Frampton is probably looking to cash it out after losing to Warrington and Santa Cruz is his best way to do that. If Santa Cruz doesn't want to fight Russell next or vice versa, Frampton is also his best financial option and Frampton is declined from when he last fought him. I didn't think Warrington would beat Selby or Frampton, so credit to him. I will pick him versus Galahad and then hopefully after that we get to see him versus Valdez.

Champion97's picture

True, but the fight wouldn't make Santa Cruz as much money, bring out the best of him like the Russell unification. Respect that.

Gold's picture

Yeah, but it is a similar idea to what Khan is trying to do, maximizes the paydays he can get. He can fight Frampton and the Russell fight will still be there.

Champion97's picture

Frampton?, yes, but Santa Cruz is not in the same boat as Khan.

Gold's picture

No, Santa Cruz is trying to maximize his paydays. I think Frampton is done if he has the trilogy with Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz isn't in the same boat but the same principle applies. He could lose the Russell fight, and if he did that the trilogy with Frampton wouldn't draw, financially it is best to do it the other way around.

Champion97's picture

More than any other fighter? The Russell fight is bigger than the Frampton trilogy. I understand, a loss is harder to come back from in this era, and Russell is high risk, but I think with the money it would make him, being confident he can beat Russell, and the fact that Cruz is getting old, he doesn't have time to waste, I don't think he'll avoid the Russell rematch. Russell seems to be somewhat a mini Stevenson, keeps defending, wins, impresses, but gets away with inactivity and/or fighting opposition which isn't good enough.

Gold's picture

I think he does more than most looking at his matchmaking. Would you agree that Santa Cruz is a big favorite over Frampton? If so, that is why he would take that fight before the Russell fight. He was paid one million disclosed purse versus Rivera, so he would make bank for the Frampton trilogy and still have the Russell fight. Santa Cruz isn't young but he isn't old either. I think the Santa Cruz vs. Russell fight will happen eventually but the wait is annoying, the fight could happen now.

Champion97's picture

Definitely a favourite. I understand, but at the same time, Russell is high risk, that's a big money fight, if Russell loses, and goes off the radar, Cruz can either forget the money fight the Russell fight would have been, or fight an even higher risk opponent. Not now he isn't, but in 2 years, he will be, maybe even 1. I agree. In my opinion, in any division, fighters have the right to fight who they are confident they have a great chance if beating, but on the other hand, avoided fighters deserve the opportunity to unify.

Gold's picture

How would Russell lose though? He fights once a year, I think it is low risk to wait for the fight from Santa Cruz's perspective. Russell isn't really avoided, he chooses to fight once a year and so he often has to face mandatories. Santa Cruz was also talking about the possibility of moving up, if he did that and faced Tank that would be a really good test for Tank.

Champion97's picture

By fighting an opponent who proves himself to be a good fighter, better than Russell, that's how, we don't know the full extent as to why he doesn't fight often enough, and therefore, if he lost, that would be an even higher risk fight for Santa Cruz, say a Nyambayar, same network, unification fight, money to be made, just like with the Russell fight, but it would be higher risk, my point is, if he holds out on the Russell fight, if that fight isn't there next year, the alternative will be higher risk, not lower risk.

If that is true, he shouldn't get away with it, we don't know what issues he might have with injuries, but still, he should not fight once a year, I agree, twice is enough, but he should fight twice a year. Is Russell not avoided?, because although he has a belt, I think he is better than his name suggests, hard to call a champion high risk, low reward for a challenger, but he is not an easy target or a fighter who's reputation would mean someone who beats him does that much for their reputation.

Definitely, that's a big risk for Santa Cruz, unless the money at 130 is vastly more than any fight that is fairly easy to make at 126, then it is likely Santa Cruz and his team don't think too much about who is higher risk, because is that is a hell of a risk.

Gold's picture

Okay, but how will that happen if Russell is only fighting mandatories? Look at the level of opposition he has faced since he beat Gonzalez. Nyambayar is the only moderately challenging guy I could see him facing, he's the mandatory but they also may delay that for a unification. Nyambayar also isn't ready in my opinion, he could use another fight or two. Santa Cruz can hold out, it is not that big of a risk with Russell facing one mandatory or voluntary. If Russell somehow lost I don't think Santa Cruz would bother facing him, he'd face whoever won the title off Russell.

https://www.ringtv.com/467273-gary-russell-jr-pushes-higher-purses/
I have seen it elsewhere but I can't find him directly saying it. This article implies Russell is okay with being inactive and he chooses to fight at this rate. I have heard he has had hand injuries but it seems to be preventative only fighting once a year. He is with PBC and he's not a big draw, Santa Cruz vs. Russell is the only logical fight that can be made in house. I can't think of any example where Russell was ducked.

Well like you said, he only has a few years left of his prime, so it is time to get moving with the big fights which involves taking some risks.

Champion97's picture

How do you know he won't come across a mandatory who won't beat him?, I dont know who the mandatory is, but the division is competitive, Stevenson, Gill, Conlan, Nyambayar, the champions are all under threat. What unification?, if not the Santa Cruz fight, I don't see that being more likely, and given that as you just said, Cruz might move up to fight Tank, I don't see him as less of a risk taker than the other 3. Also, let's say it's a unification, Warrington, Valdez, they could beat Russell, therefore, Cruz would fight them instead, that would be higher risk. Exactly, but if Russell is high risk, then the guy who beats him is as well, surely.

Ok, well he shouldn't get away with that, because twice a year is the rate all champions should fight. Well my point on this topic is that we don't know who ducked who, not always, I'm not saying he has necessarily been ducked, what I am saying is, he is high risk, and his reputation (albeit through his own fault if he doesn't try to fight twice a year) makes his relatively low reward. People accused Wilder of being a ducker, people accuse most of fighters of being duckers, often, of anything they are the ones being ducked, still, might not be the case with a fighter who only fights once a year.

We can agree on that.

Gold's picture

Because Russell is a good champion? The only one that can realistically be a mandatory for Russell in the next year is Nyanbayar who is the mandatory. They could delay the Nyanbayar mandatory fight for the Santa Cruz unification, they haven't called the mandatory yet either. Russell and Santa Cruz won't face Warrington and Valdez. All of this stuff is political which I know you don't follow as much, but Warrington and Valdez are aligned with Warren/Top Rank and ESPN. They will likely face each other or Valdez will move up and face Ito and Stevenson will fight for the vacant title. If someone beats Russell they aren't necessarily high risk, but I see what you are saying.

He can fight at whatever rate he wants, he is fighting the mandatories so what are they going to do about it? There are promotional/political boundaries that stop the fights I just talked about from happening that don't prevent Santa Cruz vs. Russell. As you said, ducking doesn't actually happen as much as people would like to make it seem.

Champion97's picture

Right, and Nyman isn't a threat? Right, so if Santa Cruz declines to fight Russell became it is wiser to fight Frampton first, and in that time Nyambayar fights Russell, beats him, Nyman is higher risk, not lower risk. I follow more than you think I do, I know they are aligned with ESPN because ESPN covered Warrington's last fight and Valdez is a Top Rank fighter who fights on ESPN. It's a good fight, when I said what unification, I meant why would Russell vs Warring or Valdez happen rather than Russell vs Santa Cruz?, I see no reason to think they take more risks than Santa Cruz, not to mention they are with different networks, that's all I was saying, if Russell unifies, there isn't more of a chance it will be against Valdez or Warrington than Santa Cruz. Well that depends how highly you rate Russell, I think he is a very talented fighter, could have been a better fighter than he is.

Well, the WBC are in command, they can issue orders, we have seen organisations make orders that aren't fair, so they can order a fighter to fight more than once a year, I know that's not how voluntary defences work, I am saying the WBC should not let Russell get away with fighting once a year, but realistically, I agree with you, why fight once a year?, because he can. Boxing politics plays a big part, and as much as you don't have to put stock in what fighters say, that doesn't apply to all fighters, not George Groves, who didn't just deny ducking, say others fighters don't duck, but explained that when fights don't happen, he explianed what is the reason, not just what isn't the reason, and the reason is often promotional problems.

We have argued a lot about Matchroom, but one thing I want to note, and you might nkt believe me, is that when Wilder was being called a ducker, a bum beater, 'no technical skill, terrible resume, Joshua vs Wilder is a mismatch', I took them on and destroyed their logic, despute not agreeing with the majority of what you said about Matchroom, Wilder, who has been a champion for longer than Joshua, is justified in thinking he deserves at least 40%, still, I think his handlers should have done more, and Wilder shouldn't have been left to negotiate with Hearn.

Gold's picture

I don't think he is particularly high risk for Russell at this point, and as I said, they haven't called the mandatory yet and may allow the unification between Santa Cruz and Russell to take place first if they do call it. Yeah, as I was saying the only unification possible for Russell and Santa Cruz are each other. Honestly, I think Santa Cruz is a borderline pound for pound guy, but he has fought in 15 title fights and the only competitive on paper fights he's had are the Frampton fights, the first fight versus Mares, and arguably Terrazas. There is no reason for him to fight guys like Avalos and Rivera (I know he was a late replacement but Flores was arguably even worse of an opponent) at this point in his career, he hasn't been matched very competitively.

Why would they order him to fight more than once a year? They order mandatories on him at a fine rate, if he doesn't want to fight voluntaries he shouldn't have to. The WBC isn't going to piss off Haymon just because they want one fighter to fight more often when he fights their mandatories. There have definitely been heavily avoided fighters throughout history, it just isn't as frequent as people would like to make it seem.

I am not talking anything regarding Joshua or Matchroom at all.

Champion97's picture

He's still learning, but I think he's a risk. I agree, that makes sense, but I think we are straying off topic, your argument was that because Russell would be a risk for Santa Cruz, fighting Frampton first would make more sense financially, and I said, in the meantime, Russell has is own fight, possibly loses and the fighter who beats him is higher risk, he's younger and fresher than Santa Cruz, so no reason why the time between now and Santa Cruz vs Russell benefits Russell. You are saying Russell losing is unlikely because he only fights once a year, good point, but it only takes one fight, his lack of activity does not work in his favour, and I just don't think Cruz has any reason to wait around, forget Frampton, fight Russell if he can, if Russell would fight him and the WBC allow it, if he loses, he loses, probably best to cash out in that case, but I think Santa Cruz is confident he can beat Russell, it's a unification fight, and although boxers talk it over with their teams, think about what is best financially, who, in all realism, might be high risk, when fighters say they want to fight the best, they are not lying, and sometimes fighters are motivated by big fights where there is a lot to gain. Both fights with Mares, Mares was better the second time in my opinion, older? Yes, but I think how hard he trained, how long they had been preparing for Santa Cruz, compensated, and although the second fight was a UD, the first time, there were 2 9-3 cards, second time, 7-5, 8-4, 9-3. The Frampton win was Santa Cruz's career high, an example of when the technically better fighter doesn't win the rematch. I agree, Santa Cruz hasn't had a great deal of competitive fights on paper, but he has had more than some. I think he's just staying busy, and to be fair, Frampton in 2016, Frampton in 2017, Mares in 2018, not too bad, but ideally, he would have been able to fight better opponents when he wasn't fighting a tough opponent, and would average more than 1 tough fight a year, still, could be worse.

Because a champion who fights once a year is taking advantage, and should fight more often, challengers deserve more opportunities than that. I know, I don't expect the WBC to do anything about it, it is a case of waiting for a good mandatory fight, and/or waiting for Russell to lose, there is a reason Alvarez didn't get his shot until quite late, Stevenson kept him on the wire for a while. Nowhere near as frequent.

Ok, I will not push you after telling you not to push me.
The things I got mad about were the unnecessary criticism based on my predictions, and that nasty, uncalled for comment about me contradicting myself, without giving me a chance to explain where you misunderstood, in terms of the actual topic itself, the back and fourth was give and take, just heated debate, you don't like Matchroom, you don't like Joshua or Hearn, I respect your opinion.

Usyk vs Povetkin looks close, great match up, tough fight for Usyk's first fight at heavyweight.

Gold's picture

Russell may want to maximize his paydays as well for how often he fights. He has said he only wants to fight a few more years, so he may want to get another fight before Santa Cruz. Russell is also 30, same age as Santa Cruz. Russell has been fighting once a year for a few years now, I don't think it has a big effect on him, if he takes a fight in the interim, especially if it is versus a voluntary, I don't think it is a big risk. I would be surprised if they made Santa Cruz vs. Russell next like you are saying. Mares was definitely not better in the second fight for my money, went to a split decision and got pushed versus Cuellar between the two fights and was more aged. I have heard rumors that Santa Cruz and Mares agreed to tear it up and throw a lot of punches but not go hard in the rematch. Santa Cruz was able to make the adjustment, he was the more technical fighter in the rematch with Frampton, for whatever reason he is a guy who fights to the level of his opponent. Mares in 2018 wasn't a fight I thought Mares had a good chance to win personally.

Stevenson was paying Alvarez step aside money, Russell fought Diaz when he came up as a mandatory, different situation.

Usyk vs. Povetkin should be a really quality fight and I agree it is a tough fight for Usyk's first at Heavyweight. However, Povetkin arguably lost to Huck in his prime. If Usyk can stay out of trouble early he should be able to box Povetkin, but Povetkin will make it difficult. He has meaningful advantages in power and size.

Champion97's picture

Well how much he earns is left in the WBC's hands by Russell himself if he fights only mandatory challengers. My bad, still though, no reason for the time to benefit Santa Cruz more than Russell. It has to have some affect on him, the fact that he still does well doesn't tell me activity isn't that important, I think Russell would have beaten Diaz wider, been more dominant against Escandon, if he fought more often, but once a year isn't so rare that activity is a big issue, just less often than ideal. I think Russell is Cruz's target, but if Russell only fights once a year, therefore only fights mandatories, then that stops the fight happening, this is why fights being a once a year thing is poor.

I disagree because the fight was built up, there was a lot of purpose behind that fight. Mares looked good against Cuellar, I know it was an SD, but most of us scored it wide, that card for Cuellar seemed off. That's stupid, there are all sorts of rumours in everyday life, that's a bad one.

I don't think he was more technical than Frampton, but he made adjustments, used his reach, was technical and tactically better than he was the first time, and that was enough to beat Frampton, I think his dad not being in his corner the first time was a factor as well. I thought Mares would win, and I thought the second fight was closer than the first, but it would have been an upset.

Somewhat similar situation in that both situations are cases of a champion fight less often than optimum or avoiding certain opponents.

I still think that's his best win, I think Huck, Braehmer (braehmer most), Abraham, all underrated fighters and Povetkin did well to beat him. Povetkin is good, but Usyk is great, that's the way I see it. The size is interesting, Usyk is very big at cruiserweight, 6'3, taller than Povetkin, more reach, and he has been at heavyweight in small fights, Povetkin is a small heavyweight. Weight is well on Povetkin's side, because Usyk has never fought at heavyweight at close to this level, been a while as well, so weight is on Povetkin's side.

Even though the fight hasn't been annouced yet, I would be shocked if it wasn't confirmed, Povetkin wants one last shot before what should be retirement, great opportunity, and for Usyk, wasting no time, being ambitious, but fighting a small heavyweight, which is wise, befire fighting a big heavyweight.

Gold's picture

Not necessarily, as long as the fight doesn't go to purse bid he isn't dictated by the WBC purse bid. The Russell vs. Diaz fight didn't go to purse bid for example. The reason it benefits Santa Cruz over Russell is what I said previously, Santa Cruz can maximize paydays. I agree, he could be better with more activity, but he hasn't shown any ring rust or slow starts as far as I can remember. As I said, they haven't called the Nyanbayar mandatory and they can make the unification take precident over the mandatory, so it may not be a problem.

There wasn't a purpose behind the first fight? The first fight was more built up than the rematch. It wasn't that Cuellar should have won, it's that Mares had more trouble with him than he should have. If it has merit or not I don't know, but it would make sense in the context of the fight like the Chisora knocking out Browne in sparring before he fought Whyte rumor or the Commey knocking down Ali in sparring before he fought Munguia rumor.

Santa Cruz is technically underrated in my view and improved from the first fight to the second, Frampton couldn't counter adjust when things weren't going his way.

I definitely think the Takam KO is Povetkin's best win, on paper Huck is a better name but he arguably should have lost or drew that fight. Usyk tends to start slower so think Povetkin has a chance. Usyk feels his opponents out, Povetkin has started fast and can potentially catch Usyk with a hook. Usyk's movement is something else though and it is going to be hard for Povetkin to find him.

Yeah, it is an in house fight, makes sense for both guys. I would be surprised if it didn't happen as well. I prefer it to Usyk fighting Lebedev.

Champion97's picture

Not beyond the bounds of possibility, Bivol fought 3 times last year, Ward fought 3 times in 2016, it is only February, but it still seems unlikely Golovkin was supoosed to fight 4 times in 2016.