Leo Santa Cruz appreciates being in between fights as the featherweight world champion’s promotion company touts its first nationally televised card May 2.
“It’s kind of hard [to promote]. A lot of stress, taking a lot of calls — there’s times it’s harder than being a fighter,” Santa Cruz said. “I love boxing a lot, though, and this is something I can do more of when I’m done with boxing.
“But with training coming up, it’s a lot.”
Santa Cruz’s Last Round Promotions will stage a Fox Sports 1 Premier Boxing Champions card headlined by a lightweight meeting between his stablemate Ivan Redkach (20-2-1, 16 knockouts) and former super-featherweight world champion Argenis Mendez (23-5-1, 12 KOs) at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.
The card will also include a separate bout featuring Santa Cruz’s bantamweight cousin, Antonio Santa Cruz.
“In one or two more fights, Redkach will be fighting for a world title,” Santa Cruz said.
Tickets at the 900-seat venue are priced at $35, $55 and $105 and are on sale at eventbrite.com.
“We’re going back to the Dan Goossen model of fight promotion and Leo knows that very well having come up fighting at places like the Expo Center [in City of Industry],” said Tom Brown of San Fernando Valley based TGB Promotions, which will assist Santa Cruz’s company.
The late Goossen staged prospect-building cards in the San Fernando Valley more than two decades ago, building the profiles of the Ruelas brothers and Michael Nunn.
“The Valley’s a great place for up-and-coming fighters, a perfect platform for them on their way to becoming major stars,” said Brown, Goossen’s brother-in-law. “We’re back to putting stickers on seats, back to the grass roots for this one.”
Santa Cruz said his enthusiasm is rooted in the fact that Los Angeles is home to a passionate fighting fan base and has been a productive breeding ground for fighters.
After dealing Northern Ireland’s 2016 fighter of the year Carl Frampton his first defeat in their January rematch, Santa Cruz said he’s scheduled to attend a Tuesday meeting to discuss his next opponent.
It’s expected that Santa Cruz manager and PBC founder Al Haymon will let the anticipation for a Frampton trilogy fight continue to build while placing World Boxing Assn. champion Santa Cruz against International Boxing Federation champion Lee Selby of Wales or secondary WBA champion Abner Mares.
Santa Cruz defeated Mares by majority decision in an exciting August 2015 card at Staples Center, and Santa Cruz said he expects to fight again in July or August.
“I’ll start getting ready and fight whoever it is,” Santa Cruz said.