SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 9, 2018 – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Mexican-American warriors Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) and Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) battled from bell to bell the way Los Angeles fans at the Staples Center knew they would in their rematch Saturday.
The punch output was nearly identical to the first fight, and so was the outcome, with Santa Cruz winning by unanimous decision. Scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113. These cards were closer than in the first fight, which was scored 117-111 X 2 and 114-114.
The Mexican born Santa Cruz and Mares are longtime residents of Los Angeles with plenty of vocal supporters among the crowd at Staples Center. They’ve been waiting for this rematch since their first fight in the same building three years ago. Like they did the first time, fans showed up waiving Mexican flags and wearing sombreros, cheering at full volume every round.
Also like the first fight, the punch output was nearly the same: high, nearly 2,000 total punches thrown. Santa Cruz is the highest volume puncher currently in boxing, able to mix up his attack with body work and pure boxing skills fueling the output. Mares is a classic Mexican style fighter who presses the action. Both promised they’d take it to each other from the opening bell and never let up, and they delivered.
Leo Santa Cruz said it was a great fight, “a war like we said … I love the crowd, I love to make them happy, whatever I can do to please them, I do it.” In this, Abner Mares is in total agreement. “We come here, we please the crowd, I hope you like it because we fight for you guys, independently of the scorecard. Win, lose, I don’t care what the scorecards say, I fight for you.”
Santa Cruz and Mares have utmost respect for each other. “Abner Mares is a great fighter, he left his heart out there. I take my hat off for him. It was a pretty tough fight, but thank God I got the victory.”
Mares said he thought the fight was a draw, but “Leo is a great fighter. It was a close fight … I fought a hard, close fight. I fought my heart out. Without a doubt, Leo Santa Cruz is number one (in the featherweight division).”
Mares said he’d love to fight Santa Cruz for a third time. Santa Cruz would like to grab another title first. “I want Gary Russell, I want to unify. I’m not scared of nobody. Whoever it is, let’s go.”
Jermell Charlo gets MD over Austin Trout
On the undercard, Jermell Charlo won a majority decision against a tough Austin Trout. Scores were all over the map, with 118-108 an 115-111 for Charlo, and 113-113. The fight was not particularly thrilling, not at all to the taste of the Southern California fans who prefer the all-action Mexican style like the main event. They didn’t hold back, booking during slowdowns. Charlo did score two knockdowns in the third and eighth round, and it won him the fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2018 by Falcon Valley Group