The bout–although a mismatch–provided some phone booth action with Santa Cruz turning up the offense with over 90 punches per round.
Cayetano, while tough, was severely outgunned and was backing up for the majority of the fight, eating big power punches.
After Round 3, Santa Cruz’s father and trainer told his son not to let the fight go much further, saying that Santa Cruz knew he was capable of stopping Cayetano.
But Santa Cruz was not able to dispense of the auto insurance agent as many people had predicted and expected.
With Santa Cruz moving up to Featherweight for this bout, perhaps his team felt it necessary to test the waters against a sub-par opponent at 126 pounds.
Cayetano did the job well, taking a lot of punches and not firing anything of note in return for the majority of the rounds. Santa Cruz was never a one-punch knockout artist at lower weights, but it was interesting to see just how many flush power shots Cayetano was able to take.
By Round 5, Santa Cruz had landed 122-238 of power punches–or 51 percent. Still, Cayetano stood strong and took everything his higher rated opponent threw.
Santa Cruz used the next few rounds to continue to throw vicious punches to the head and body, walking his man down and getting off three and four punch combinations in the corner.
Round 8 saw the best two-way action of the fight as Cayetano began giving back as good as he was getting. Cayetano was cracked with heavy leather by “Terremoto” and although his nose began to bleed, he shook his head, signaling to Santa Cruz that his punches did not have any power.
The bout ended up going to the scorecards and all three judges agreed in a clean sweep for Santa Cruz, 100-90. After the bout, Santa Cruz spoke to Jim Gray regarding the challenge Cayetano presented.
“I learned a lot about how to chase movers and how to go the distance.”
Santa Cruz also mentioned that he wants the bigger fights–namely against Abner Mares–in the future, but it remains to be seen if Al Haymon agrees.
Header photo by Al Bello/Getty Images