By Mark Eisner: Chris Colbert (16-0, 6 KOs) called out Leo Santa Cruz following the successful title defense of his interim WBA super featherweight title against Tugststogt Nyambayer last Saturday night on Showtime.
Colbert, 24, showed off his blazing hand speed by out-landing the tough ‘King Tug’ Nyambayer to win a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-110, 118-110, 117-111. The fight took place at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
After the fight, Colbert dismissed the idea of him challenging WBA Super World super featherweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis for his title, saying that it’s too early for the two of them to fight.
Instead of calling out Tank Davis or WBA ‘regular’ 130-lb champion Roger Gutierrez (25-4-1, 20 KOs), Colbert surprisingly said that he wants Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) next.
A fight with Santa Cruz, 32, would make sense for Colbert if he held one of the WBA super featherweight titles and if he wasn’t coming off of a bad knockout loss.
Tank Davis stopped Santa Cruz in the sixth round on October 31st last year to capture his WBA 130-lb title, which means he would have nothing to offer Colbert right now.
Colbert calls out Santa Cruz
“I don’t pick and choose. Whoever they put in front of me, I’m going to beat them,” said Colbert at the post-fight press conference. “We’d like to fight in Brooklyn, me and Santa Cruz.
“He’s got a tremendous fanbase, and he’s a hell of a champion,” said Colbert about Santa Cruz. “He’s a four-time division world champion, and I’m a future world champion, so why not?
“Let’s make it happen,” Colbert continued about wanting to fight Santa Cruz. I think me and him would be a hell of a fight, and I think it would be a fight that the fans would love to see.
“I’m number one in the WBA,” said Colbert. “So you know what time it is. I’m going to follow the plan and see what happens next.”
The obvious fight to make for Colbert would be against WBA ‘regular’ super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez, who recently won his title after beating Rene Alvarez by a 12 round decision.
With that said, the 5’9 1/2″ Venezuelan fighter Gutierrez would be a difficult fight for Colbert based on his size, power, and toughness.
Colbert would need to work on his defense to have a chance of defeating the 26-year-old Gutierrez because this guy would put his hands on him.
For Colbert to beat Gutierrez, he couldn’t afford to back up against the ropes like he was doing last Saturday night against King Tug.
Shelling up against a puncher like Gutierrez or Santa Cruz would be a bad idea for Colbert. He can’t fight like that against punchers like Gutierrez, Santa Cruz, or Tank Davis.
Chris Colbert not ready to fight for a title
The smart thing for Colbert’s management would be to get him more experience before putting him in against one of the world champions or a former champ like Santa Cruz.
Colbert doesn’t hit hard enough to guarantee that he would beat guys like Santa Cruz or Santa Cruz.
At this point, Colbert is too flawed for him to be put in with the elite fighters at 130. He would likely lose to all of these fighters if he faces them now:
- Roger Gutierrez
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Gervonta Davis
- Rene Alvarado
- Oscar Valdez
- Shakur Stevenson
- Jamel Herring
- Miguel Berchelt
- Shavkat Rakhimov
A good fight for Colbert would be to take on Yuriorkis Gamboa next because that would give him some experience.
The 39-year-old Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) has lost his last two fights, and he’s a shell of the guy he once was years ago. If Colbert’s management wants to take a gamble, they should match him against former WBC 130-lb champion Miguel Berchelt to see how he does against him.