Leo Santa Cruz Beats Abner Mares in a Rematch War

Annette Crawford
June 12, 2018

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. "I won that fight". The taller Santa Cruz is using a jab setting up Mares.

"Our focus isn't on looking for a stoppage", Mares said this week. "I think he's grown as an athlete". It was a close round. The first bout was a very action packed one, with both fighters combining to throw over 2,000 punches.

Santa Cruz and Mares put on a show that was at least as entertaining as their first meeting. He admitted that Santa Cruz is the best featherweight in the world but claimed he still wanted another shot. He has fought only twice since, but both were victories that showcased his growth. Santa Cruz is the highest volume puncher now in boxing, able to mix up his attack with body work and pure boxing skills fueling the output. He stifled Santa Cruz with pressure. Mares then throws a combination while Santa Cruz is on the ropes for a brief moment. He was also more active, throwing 77 more punches than Mares. Mares, showing great footwork, picked his spots and looked to overwhelm Santa Cruz with his hand speed, stringing together three- and four-punch combinations on his way inside. He's better coming forward than as a counter puncher.

A clash of heads saw Santa Cruz develop a gash over his left eye, but he hardly looked the worse for wear.

Santa Cruz pushed the action for the rest of the fight.

In the ninth round Mares came inside landing a flurry of punches. Santa Cruz landed a looping right to the head of Mares. Mares seemed to be the busier of the two inside. In the tenth round Mares attacked the body of Santa Cruz well. Referee Taylor warned Mares about the late hit.

In the eleventh round Mares went to the body but got countered by a right uppercut from Santa Cruz. Mares continues to work the inside and lands the left hook. The crowd was on their feet in appreciation of these two warriors who gave everything they had. Scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113. "I am ready, Leo is ready, and we want to show the world that us Mexicans are united to give good fights".

Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares threw nearly 2,000 punches in 12 rounds
Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares threw nearly 2,000 punches in 12 rounds

“Ive felt a sense of urgency my entire career, even when I was undefeated I felt like I cant lose a fight so Ive felt that urgency my whole career and that my backs to the wall and this is what we have to do for every fight.”. "It just gives me more motivation", he said.

Abner Mares wanted a spectacular knockout when he fought Leo Santa Cruz almost three years ago. "I've learned a lot from my last few fights".

"It was a great fight - another war", Santa Cruz said.

On the undercard, Jermell Charlo won a majority decision against a tough Austin Trout.

In the first round the southpaw Trout used his jab effectively. Charlo dropped Trout or was it a slip? "But I leave it to the fans to say who is the best". Charlo continued staying ahead of Trout. Trout had Charlo on the defense with half a dozen punches. I tried to destroy him.

In the eleventh round Trout landed a lead left uppercut to the chin of Charlo. Trout realizing with the two knockdowns he needed a knockout. He did his best but his best was not enough. He showed some ring rust for a fighter who benefits from being in the ring often and lately hasn't been.

" It was a great fight". Two judges scored it 118-108 and 115-111 in favor of Charlo, and third scored it 113-113. "To do that, I need to beat the champions". "Trout fought to survive", said Charlo. "Both Charlo's (being whom he fought both) were helluva fighters".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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