LOS ANGELES— Leo Santa Cruz pummelled Victor Terrazas with a third round knockout Saturday to capture the World Boxing Council’s junior featherweight crown.
Referee Lou Moret stopped the fight at 2:09 of the third with Terrazas defenseless and unable to see out of his right eye after being knocked down previously in the round.
“I was not expecting a knockout this early in the fight, I thought it would be later,” Santa Cruz said.
The challenger dominated from beginning using his superior height and reach to land some heavy punches on Terrazas.
Santa Cruz said he won the title for his brother Roberto who is battling lupus, a disease which affects a person’s immune system and attacks healthy cells and tissues.
“It means the world to me,” said Santa Cruz. “I want to give the belt to (Roberto) because he is the real champion.”
Santa Cruz vacated his bantamweight world title to move up to the junior featherweight ranks.
Terrazas falls to 37-3 with one drawn. Coming into the fight he had lost only once since his pro debut a decade ago. Saturday’s defeat also snapped a 12-fight win streak.