Photos by Sumio Yamada
URBANO ANTILLON v JOSE LEONARDO CRUZ
Exciting, undefeated junior lightweight Urbano Antillon returns to Telefutura with what looks like a routine fight against Jose Leonardo Cruz, a 32-year-old Colombian who is capable but has boxed only twice in two years. The bout has been downgraded from 10 to eight rounds Pennsylvania commissioner Greg Sirb tells me he thinks the extra two rounds would have made the fight too tough for Cruz. "If he makes it to the eighth I don't want him to have to face another two rounds with this guy," Sirb said. "Eight rounds is enough."
People in the fight trade have a high opinion of Antillon, a boxer-puncher who has been knocking people out quickly, with two one-round KOs in his last two bouts. I did expect him to have his hands full with Bobby Pacquiao but it turned out to be a mismatch.
Antillon is moving steadily towards a title fight and he will not allow Cruz to stand in his way.
Cruz can, I think, last longer than Antillons recent opponents. Tall and rangy, he moves well and has quite good hand speed. He gamely went the full 12 rounds with veteran Fernando Trejo a couple of years ago, and Trejo gave Antillon his toughest fight.
It is going to be difficult for Cruz to keep Antillon off him for the full eight rounds, though. Antillon will be keeping the pressure on Cruz and looking to slow him down with body punches. Cruz looks seriously outgunned but I think he can box and move well enough to reach the midway point, after which Antillon should begin to grind him down. I am expecting Antillon to win inside the distance again, somewhere between the fourth and seventh rounds.