While PBC’s televised coverage of the February 16 boxing card from the Microsoft Theater ended with Leo Santa Cruz retaining his WBA “Super” featherweight title, there was plenty of action of news coming out of the untelevised portion of the card.
Once the televised main event ended at the Microsoft Theater, fans in attendance were able to witness a new world champion being crowned in DeeJay Kriel as well as Ryosuke Iwasa fighting back to title contention. Other fighters, such as Marlon Tapales, Karlos Balderas and Hugo Centeno Jr., also picked up wins on the non-TV portion of the card.
Starting with Kriel, the 23-year-old South African fighter defeated Carlos Licona to become the new IBF minimumweight champion. This is the second straight fight the IBF 105-pound title saw a new champion crowned on a boxing card in Los Angeles with the bout taking place after the televised-portion of the card had ended. In December 2018, Licona defeated Mark Anthony Barriga to win the title on the same card Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had their WBC heavyweight title bout.
As for Iwasa, he managed to score a technical majority decision against Cesar Juarez due to Juarez’s cut being too deep for the fight to continue. Two judges had Iwasa winning with scores of 98-92 and 97-93 while the third judge had the fight tied 95-95.
With the win, Iwasa becomes the new mandatory challenger for the IBF super bantamweight title currently being held by TJ Doheny. Iwasa previously won the title in 2017 and made one successful title defense but lost the belt to Doheny after Doheny won a unanimous decision in their August 2018 bout.