Santa Cruz and Lawler Dethroned

Carl Frampton defeats Leo Santa Cruz in a memorable brawl to become the WBA Super World featherweight champion.

Carl Frampton defeats Leo Santa Cruz in a memorable brawl to become the WBA Super World featherweight champion. 

However, Carl Frampton, in just his second fight in the U.S., shocked the world by taking a majority decision victory over Santa Cruz this past weekend live on Showtime.

The Irish star’s tremendous counterpunching and power shots neutralized Santa Cruzs trademark high-octane punch volume and power. Santa Cruz, a rising three-division world champion, was unable to utilize his reach advantage, which proved detrimental.

Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz

(Carl Frampton delivering power shot against Leo Santa Cruz, Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Its a dream come true, said Frampton post-fight. I had the dream of winning a world title and I won it, but I never thought Id win in two divisions. It was a tough fight, I wanted it to be a tough fight because I wanted a fight the people could remember.

Frampton, a longstanding IBF super bantamweight champion, stepped up in weight for the bout and with the risk came the reward. Santa Cruz, however, disagreed with the decision.

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Carl Frampton

(Carl Frampton neutralizing Leo Santa Cruz’s reach, Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

It was a tough fight from the beginning, Santa Cruz said. We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought it was close when I was in there throwing. Maybe the judges were hearing the crowd and thought that every little punch was scoring.

With IBF champion Lee Selby and WBC champion Gary Russell Jr., in the featherweight universe, we must all wait and see if a rematch will be scheduled or if Frampton will go after the other champions for unification bouts.

Adonis Stevenson KOs Thomas Williams, Jr. in 4 Rounds

In other significant boxing action, Adonis Stevenson made the seventh defense of his light heavyweight title on Friday at the Centre Videotron Arena in Quebec City knocking out Thomas Williams, Jr.

Stevenson used a big left hand to knock down Williams Jr. late in the first round, then finished the challenger in the fourth in highlight worthy fashion.

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Stevenson (28-1) advances to his 15th consecutive victory, with 13 of those coming by knockout. The native of Haiti and longtime Canada resident is now 7-0 with five stoppages as WBC light heavyweight champion.

Tyron Woodley Scores 1st-Round KO of Robbie Lawler, Becomes UFC welterweight champion

The MMA world was also shocked as Ferguson, Missouri native Tyron Woodley defeated American Top Team teammate, Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 in Atlanta on Saturday.

The defeat marked a UFC title changing hands for a seventh time this year. 

The pay-per-view headliner featured Woodley (15-3) landing an explosive overhand right early in the first round and finished the fight moments later to end Lawlers (27-11) title reign at the 2:12 mark of Round 1. It was the fastest title-fight stoppage in the UFCs welterweight history.

Woodley recently appeared in the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton and has been an outspoken proponent of police violence in his native Missouri.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. Having been involved with combat sports since 2005, Rhett began in the Fighter Relations Department of the UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. Eventually, he became the Site Coordinator for the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. He then founded Fight Services and handled the event and talent logistics for MMA World Series of Fighting, Titan FC, as well as boxing promoter K2 Promotions. Rhett was also a Stage Manager for Showtime Championship Boxing. Currently, Rhett is the lead combat sports and bodybuilding writer, producer, podcaster, and host for The Shadow League. He has also been published in Money Magazine, reported for TIME Magazine and been a freelance writer for UFC.com, MaximumFighting.com, UFC 360 Magazine, Fight Magazine, MMAPayout.com, and Heavy.com. Rhett has hosted lifestyle TV programming in the Washington, D.C. market on the District of Columbia Network (DCN) and the District Knowledge Network (DKN) and has been a Play-By-Play Announcer for Monumental Sports Network’s PPV streaming service.