Tuesday, June 18, 2024  |


Jose Santa Cruz plans to work son Leo’s corner Saturday despite cancer

Photo: Suzanne Teresa
Fighters Network

Jose Santa Cruz has never missed a chance to work son Leo’s corner.

And Jose doesn’t plan on being absent for his son’s featherweight title fight against Carl Frampton on Saturday despite battling bone cancer, which Leo and Jose said was nearly in remission. Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 knockouts) was all smiles on Wednesday at a public workout as he discussed his father’s improved health since he was first diagnosed with Stage 3 myeloma in April.

Jose Santa Cruz has undergone chemotherapy treatment and had spine surgery since then, Leo said, and his cancer is nearly in remission thanks to new medication he has been put on. “He’s always been there for my fights and the thing that I care for most is that he’s here in my corner,” Santa Cruz told RingTV.com at the Church Street Gym in lower Manhattan. “The doctor said he was going to be here, and he’s going to be in my corner.”

Jose, wearing a big cowboy hat and a black and gold shirt adorned with gold chains, appeared robust and at ease as he mingled with family at the workout. He was no longer in a wheelchair, and he made assurances that his health was much improved and that he planned to be in his son’s corner against Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs). The bout will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Showtime and features Mikey Garcia’s long-awaited return against Elio Rojas in the chief supporting bout.

“I’ve always been in his corner and what happened to me with this disease, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to come here (to New York),” Jose said through his son/translator Robert. “Thank God everything is better and I do plan on being in the corner.”

Leo Santa Cruz said it was a huge load off his shoulders to know his father is on the road to recovery. “The first thing you think of when you hear of cancer is death,” he said. “You know not a lot of people make it. And my dad is beating it, so it’s a great relief he’s going to be here for many more years.” He added, “The doctors have said that right now he’s almost in remission. The cancer is almost in remission and they’re just trying to get rid of it completely.”