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New super bantamweight champion crowned in California

On the same night that Carl Frampton unified the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles, a new WBC 122lbs champion was crowned.

Mexico’s Hugo Ruiz claimed an explosive first round knockout win of countryman Julio Ceja at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California.

The title bout played out as chief support to Leo Santa Cruz, who held the belt until last year, versus Kiko Martinez on an Al Haymon PBC card.

It was a rematch of the interim title fight between the pair last August, where they traded knockdowns before Ceja emerged victorious in the fifth.

29 year old Ruiz however gained revenge tonight, knocking Ceja down early and finishing the fight inside the first minute. The bout was called to a halt after just 51 seconds with Ceja, who injured his ankle during his trip to the canvas, being stopped standing.

Whilst Ceja and Ruiz may engage in a rubber match, the exciting new champ presents a potential future foe for Frampton. The event’s headliner, WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz is another target for ‘The Jackal’ and the three-weight champ would be considered a bigger money and higher prestige fight.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie