Leo Santa Cruz wins rematch with Mares by unanimous decision | AP sports

Ruben Hill
Июня 12, 2018

For Santa Cruz, a pair of exciting 12-round title fights with Carl Frampton helped him show critics he's more than just a stereotypical Mexican volume puncher.

In an electrifying war that had the STAPLES Center crowd on its feet chanting for more, Leo Santa Cruz defended his WBA Featherweight World Championship by winning a unanimous decision against four-division world champion Abner Mares in their rematch Saturday night on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING ®.

"It was a "Fight of the Year" like I told you", said Mares. "I'm going to follow instructions and show I'm the better fighter in there".

Russell Jr. would make for a fantastic challenge, a bout that many boxing fans will be clamoring to see now that Santa Cruz has established himself as the king of Los Angeles. "If anything, it brings more hunger out of me".

Santa Cruz, who also picked up the WBC diamond featherweight title with the win, took some powerful punches early on but likely won the bout in the middle rounds, using his wingspan to throw off Mares' rhythm and pick him off as he charged in.

Abner Mares got a little closer on the scorecards in his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz, but not enough to take the win. They got into several dynamite exchanges, but Santa Cruz always stayed out of big trouble in what appeared to be a clear decision victory.

Both California based fighters combined to throw almost 2,000 punches according to Sho Stats. Both throwing punches at the bell with the last one a left hook from Mares on the back of the head of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz says he is ready. Santa Cruz landed a left hook to the chin of Mares midway through the round. Mares countered with three punches to the body.

Santa Cruz has continued to watch his father/trainer Jose deal with pain from his spinal cancer, even though the elder Santa Cruz has made great strides in his battle. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz landed 357 of 1,061 punches and Mares landed 226 of 997 in the rematch. Neither fighter seriously hurt the other in a fight that was often quantity of punches over quality of punches. "You keep on fighting".

"I think he's going to be more cautious this time and smarter", Santa Cruz told CBS Sports' "In This Corner" podcast on Monday.

Featherweight World Championship Santa Cruz vs. Mares II, and Jermell Charlo vs. Austin Trout Live on June 9, 2018 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on Showtime and live streamed online with the Showtime App. He pushed forward nullifying Santa Cruz's longer reach. If Mares is better than me that night, then he will win.

Round 6: Action starts to die down a bit, but both men are still able to throw a lot of punches. Mares kept backing Santa Cruz up.

Santa Cruz began to use his length in the fifth round, catching Mares with straight right hands from the outside. 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. The round ends with another big exchange between the two. "I said it before the fight: whoever wins this fight will be the number one featherweight". Santa Cruz is now bleeding around his left eye. Mares and Santa Cruz traded a couple shots behind the head. Mares is a great guy and a good person; it's just business. Charlo probably loaded up too much, as the Showtime team observed, but he's the better boxer. Mares continues to work the inside and lands the left hook. The big difference is Santa Cruz's growth mentally.

Santa Cruz avenged that loss, and he affirmed his superiority over Mares.

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