|Just throw your hands in the air...|
I've spoken to my share of fighters and, without doubt, Leo Santa Cruz is one of the warmest and friendliest souls I've ever exchanged words with (for the record, Amir Khan is right up there with him). With that being said, I can't remember a fighter I used to be so high on who I've grown more disillusioned with over time.
Santa Cruz has, for lack of a better phrase, cashed out. Yup, he's become a showcase fighter, really, seemingly content to be nothing more. I don't say this to be dark and cynical, either. Indeed, I don't LIKE saying it. Again, I LIKE Santa Cruz. In fact, not so long ago I saw him as a true rising star within the sport. Sadly, a lot has changed.
First, I think it's clear to everyone that Santa Cruz' behavior at the prospect of facing one Guillermo Rigondeaux has been, well, QUESTIONABLE. In other words, it's easy to understand why people feel he avoided the guy. Then there was that pathetic run of no-hopers Santa Cruz went through.
After that there was Abner Mares. That fight, I guess, was supposed to make Santa Cruz save face, but I'm weary of fighters who won't get in the ring with anyone other than an opponent they have a 50-50 chance or better against. And, if I'm not mistaken, Santa-Cruz - Mares was, at best, a 50-50 fight.
Now we have Kiko Martinez, a man who has clearly seen better days. Afterwards it may, MAY be a fight witht either Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg for Santa Cruz, but who really knows? I don't know about you, but I won't be holding my breath for that one.
Again, I call fighters like Santa Cruz showcase fighters - because that's really what they are, men who make a damn good living showing off their skill sets against lesser opponents. It's a great gig, I guess, if you don't mind punching out no hopers or little hopers for a ton of money.
I used to feel, though, that Santa Cruz could be more than that. In fact, I used to feel that his ambition could be as admirable as his personality. Indeed, I hope it still can be. Again, though, I won't be holding my breath.
And that's really too bad.