Leo Santa Cruz bests Abner Mares again in 12-round war
Leo Santa Cruz bests Abner Mares again in 12-round war
Leo Santa Cruz defeated Abner Mares at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
12 June, 2018, 19:59
Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) and Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) first met in 2015 at the Staples Center and fought for the vacant WBA featherweight world title.
Santa Cruz suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental head butt in the eighth round but seemed unfazed with the blood streaming down his face. And the champion from Lincoln Heights would not want it any other way. "He fights differently. He has Robert Garcia as his trainer. I've been in this sport a long time, and now with having [trainer] Robert Garcia in my corner, he's really helped my mental game and given me great guidance". In most cases, rematches tend to follow a similar path as the first fight and this matchup is no different. "It is always a problem trying to get inside on him". But we like that. "Leo's ready, I'm ready, and it is now just time to show the world that we have reunited and we are both ready to go". Mares said "I fight for you guy's (the crowd)".
Both fighters exchanged punches with bad intentions but Santa Cruz was able to use his reach and counter effectively to win by 12-round unanimous decision at the Staples Center on Saturday night.
Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) fought a better gameplan than the first fight, finding the mark with shorter shots in between Santa Cruz's wider shots in the early goings. If that's the case, we could be in for a terrific rematch. "I had to do what I had to do to win the fight". "It happened already. That's in the past".
Austin Trout is going into this fight as a way to avenge his loss to Jermall by beating his twin for his WBC light middleweight belt. He's a veteran. He's a real fighter, but I don't know what the judges were looking at. And with the two Frampton fights, he has, too. Mares is a great guy and a good person; it's just business.
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Santa Cruz said he next wants a title unification fight with Gary Russell Jr., who also has a featherweight belt.
The second salvo in the so-called "Battle of Los Angeles" saw these two all-action Southern California favorites blast away at each other from the first second to the last. If Mares is better than me that night, then he will win.
"Without a doubt, Leo is the No. 1 featherweight in the world", Mares said.
Santa Cruz won the rematch via a unanimous decision
However, neither fighter was able to take control of the bout. "I tip my hat off to him". I learned from the Frampton fights and my dad is a good trainer too.
In the third round Mares landed a chopping right to the head causing Santa Cruz to come right back at him. "You love to hear the people scream".
Unfortunately, Mares didn't pace himself.
"I'm going to fight my heart out and win this fight this time", he said.
Santa Cruz and Mares put on a show that was at least as entertaining as their first meeting.
Indeed, there is plenty of emotion tied up in this.
"It was very important for me to show it because people thought I was just a fighter that went forward throwing punches and couldn't box", Santa Cruz said. "We have to fight for our family and we have to live for our future". We both hit 154 on the button.
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