Casamayor wins hairline decision over Santa Cruz

By Scott Shaffer

10/11/2007

Casamayor wins hairline decision over Santa Cruz

Joel Casamayor W12 Jose A. Santa Cruz...  Joel Casamayor is still the world lightweight champion, but after Saturday's performance, he will have a harder time making the case for himself in the court of public opinion. Despite a trip to the canvas, Casamayor won a very close and unpopular split decision over a more aggressive Jose Armando Santa Cruz. The two scores in Casamayor's favor (114-113) were met with boos from the crowd (the remaining score was 114-113 for Santa Cruz). Casamayor was sent to the canvas in the first round Santa Cruz. The punch looked like it landed on Casamayor's arms, but it knocked him backwards and down on his butt. Casamayor fought the next two rounds going backwards, but after that, his punches began finding their mark a little more often.  The exchanges got a bit more heated in the seventh, with Santa Cruz landing the best punch. In the eighth, it was back to boxing, and Casamayor may have been slightly more effective than Santa Cruz, but Santa Cruz did well after that. The twelfth was perhaps Casamayor's best round, as he finally stopped moving backwards. He pulled out the fight with a strong showing in the last three minutes. From this author's admittedly compromised vantage point in the rafters, Santa Cruz deserved the decision, but perhaps a closer look would have revealed that Casamayor blocked many of the punches.