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Junior featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz dominated Jesus Ruiz en route to an eighth-round knockout victory Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.


Santa Cruz retained his 122-pound world title for the fourth time but he has faced mediocre opposition for the second time in a row.


 "It was a war, but we came prepared. He gave me a tough fight," Santa Cruz said. "We went after him and stopped him. I know he was prepared."

 Ruiz landed some hard body shots early on but eventually Santa Cruz overpowered him.

Like a steam engine going downhill, Santa Cruz become more dominant as the fight went on. Ruiz offered very little resistance.

 Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 17 KOs), 26, a Mexico native living in Los Angeles, continued to pound away in the seventh round and had Ruiz in some trouble as he retreated to the ropes, but he survived the onslaught. It was over seconds into the eighth, as Santa Cruz hammered him relentlessly along the ropes until referee Kenny Bayless stepped in and called it off 29 seconds into the round.

Santa Cruz is a two division champion who defended the bantamweight title three times before annexing a junior feather weight belt. He is now targeting either Guillermo Rigondeaux or Abner Mares.  

 "Of course, I want the best. I want to be the best," he said. "I want Mares, [unified champion Guillermo] Rigondeaux, [titlist] Scott Quigg. Hopefully, it can be one of them next."


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