Over the weekend boxing proved yet again why it is the pound-for-pound king of combat sports.
Leo Santa Cruz defended his WBA Featherweight World Championship by winning a unanimous decision against four-division world champion Abner Mares in their rematch. Jermell Charlo recorded a majority decision victory by outpointing former world champion Austin Trout to defend his WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares 2 was everything it was expected it to be, a barn burner that crowned the King of Los Angeles. After their first pairing, where Santa Cruz took home the majority decision, there was speculation hovering over the victory that Santa Cruz needed to absolve. His definitive win over the weekend settles the score, but Santa Cruz has already stated publicly that he will fight Mares again just for the entertainment value it provides the fans.
Santa Cruz also talked about his future wish for his journey in the featherweight division.
"I want Gary Russell Jr. next," he said. "I want to unify. I'm ready for everyone, whoever and whenever."
In the co-main event, the determined Charlo twins from Texas took their championship crusade to the next level when Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) recorded a majority decision victory by outpointing former world champion Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KOs) to defend his WBC Super Welterweight World Championship. Two judges scored it 118-108 and 115-111 in favor of Charlo, and the third judge scored it 113-113.
On the same night in the sultry desert of Las Vegas, Terence "Bud" Crawford made a huge statement when he stopped WBO welterweight world champion Jeff Horn to claim yet another title in another weight class.
Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), who unified all four 140-pound titles last August, became boxing's latest three-division champion with a ninth-round TKO of Horn.
Australian Jeff Horn fails to retain his WBO welterweight belt after losing to American Terence Crawford by technical knockout.
"Like I told you all before, I'm strong," Crawford said after the fight. "You all didn't believe me, and I was way stronger than him. You all kept telling me how strong he was but you didn't give me enough credit, and I had to show you all."
There was once a time when the popular belief was that boxing was dead and MMA held the smoking barrel. But boxing still ranks higher than MMA programming among male TV viewers.
With fighters like Crawford, Thurman, Spence, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Danny Jacobs, GGG, Mikey Garcia and Canelo Alvarez, among a host of others, boxing never left. It's just been remixed by the next generation.