Leo Santa Cruz vs Abner Mares is a rematch fans have been begging for since the first clash in 2015 and both fighters are more than ready.
WATCH-Driven: Leo Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz Is Ready For An Abner Mares Rematch
The first Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares battle, a candidate for “Fight of the Year” in 2015, was a hard-fought crosstown Los Angeles battle for supremacy in the featherweight division won by Santa Cruz via a 12-round majority decision at STAPLES Center on August 29.
Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Marez fight in an all-out war, ending with Santa Cruz scoring a majority decision victory at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Visit PremierBoxingChampions.com for info. SIGN UP FOR FIGHT ALERTS: http://pbcham.ps/FightAlerts FOLLOW US: https://twitter.com/premierboxing https://instagram.com/premierboxing https://www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions
This first matchup was declared an instant classic, with the fellow three-division champions combining to throw more than 2,000 total punches in one of the best fights of 2015. After producing a peak of 1.641 million viewers on ESPN in addition to a great live gate, still, the fierce, bloody war left Mares unfulfilled until their long-awaited rematch could be finally realized three years later.
Historically, Los Angeles has been the hotspot for slugfests between legendary local Mexican-American fighters. Known for their big hearts in the ring, Mexican-American boxers have electrified fans with their explosiveness and courage. When you mix in the fact that Southern California boxing fans are rabidly loyal and community-driven, you have the ingredients for the Battle for Los Angeles.
Historically, there have been similar exciting bouts between popular Los Angeles fighters. Throw in the pride and heritage of Mexican-Americans and it is no wonder why this rematch is predicted to be heavily viewed by the growing Southland Latino boxing community and beyond.
When former sparring partners and former world champions Mando Ramos and Raul Rojas fought on December 10th 1970 at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, the tension in the city was just as palpable. These Harbor-area fighters openly played mind-games with each other and unlike Santa Cruz and Mares, tossed personal insults back-and-forth in order to gain a psychological edge.
In this crucial crossroads fight for both, Ramos, of Long Beach, was led to believe that San Pedro’s Rojas was not in shape. Ramos proceeded to take it easy and coasted during training camp. When word got out that Rojas was in top-form, it occurred to Ramos that he’d been had. Still, Ramos had enough gas in the tank to knockout Rojas in six rounds.
August 29, 2015 – PBC on ESPN: After 12 rounds and over 2,000 punches thrown, Leo Santa Cruz scores the majority decision victory over Abner Mares. Visit PremierBoxingChampions.com for info. FOLLOW US: https://twitter.com/premierboxing https://instagram.com/premierboxingchamps https://www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions
Santa Cruz and Mares grew up together on the same Southern California boxing scene. Both appeared on many of the same boxing cards, and Santa Cruz even picked up an IBF bantamweight belt vacated by Mares. Now, for these two Mexican warriors with almost identical boxing statistics, the road to greatness leads them both once more to STAPLES Center for another classic ring-war.
Santa Cruz and Mares further solidified themselves as the most active and exciting fighters in boxing in their first showdown, combining to throw over 170 punches per round, more than 50 above the featherweight average at the time. According to CompuBox, Santa Cruz and Mares rank in the Top 10 in three key statistical categories amongst all active boxers across weight divisions – Average Total Punches Landed Per Round, Average Power Punches Thrown Per Round, and Average Power Punches Landed Per Round.
SHOWTIME Boxing analyst and Hall of Famer Steve Farhood takes a look into the boxing career of four-time world champion Abner Mares. Mares is preparing for a world championship rematch against featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz – live June 9 at 10PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
Santa Cruz (No. 2 at 29.5 total punches landed per round) and Mares (No. 9 at 22.3 total punches landed per round) excel at landing shots on their opponent, placing in the top 10 in a category that includes pound-for-pound mainstays Gennady Golovkin (No. 2), Naoya Inoue (No.6), Errol Spence (No. 7) and Vasyl Lomachenko (No. 8).
When it comes to power shots, Santa Cruz and Mares rank No. 4 and No. 7 in power punches thrown per round and No. 2 and No. 6 in power shots landed per round, respectively.
Additionally, Santa Cruz ranks in the top-three in average total punches thrown per round, one of only three active fighters to average 80 or more punches, along with Roman Gonzalez and Francisco Vargas. Santa Cruz, with a stellar 13-1 record in world title fights, also excels at jabbing, ranking in the top 10 in average jabs thrown per round and average jabs landed per round.
Take a look into the boxing career of WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz, who is known for aggression and high volume output in the ring. SHOWTIME Boxing analyst and Hall of Famer Steve Farhood analyzes the Mexican superstar’s road to becoming a three-division world champion.
While it seems Santa Cruz has the statistical edge in their rematch, the difference maker could be Mares’ rebirth since teaming up with trainer Robert Garcia. He was training under Garcia when he dethroned Jesus Cuellar in 2016, Mares is connecting at a higher percentage on his power shots (46.9 percent compared to 40 percent in his previous 12 fights) while simultaneously limiting the accuracy of his opponents.
On Saturday, the boxing world will be treated to another classic Los Angeles battle between two certified Mexican warriors. This bout truly promises to be the next chapter written in the long history of exciting Los Angeles crosstown battles. Nearly three years in the making, anticipation will be high and a screaming audience again on their feet, as they witness Mares quest for redemption in his rematch with Santa Cruz.