Leo Santa Cruz vs Abner Mares Preview June 9th
The long awaited rematch between WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz and WBA Featherweight Titleholder Abner Mares will be taking place this Saturday, June 9th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The 12-round bout will be shown live in the U.S. On Showtime while fans in the UK can catch it on. The Mexican warriors first met in August, 2015 at the Staples Center with Santa Cruz winning a 12-round majority decision. Santa Cruz last fought in October when he stopped Chris Avalos in the eighth round while Mares beat Andres Gutierrez via a 10th-round technical decision on the same card.
Santa Cruz vs Mares Betting Odds
- Austin Trout +375
- Jermell Charlo -475
Santa Cruz had regained his title nine months earlier with a majority decision over Carl Frampton in their rematch after losing it to him six months earlier by majority decision. Mares won his recent title in December, 2016 when he beat Jesus Cuellar by a split decision. The 29-year-old Santa Cruz, who fights out of the Los Angeles area, has an impressive record of 34-1-1 along with 19 Kos. He’d already won world bantamweight and junior featherweight titles, but decided to move up in weight and captured the vacant WBA featherweight belt when he beat Mares.
Santa Cruz stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 69-inch reach. He has a 53 per cent knockout ratio and has fought 226 rounds since turning pro in 2006. His biggest wins have been against Mares, Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Cristian Mijares, Victor Terrazas and Eric Morel. Santa Cruz’s lone draw was a four-rounder against Rodrigo Hernandez in 2007. He’s quite an exciting boxer as he tends to throw punches in bunches and isn’t averse to going toe-to-toe with his opponents. He also has a good chin to go along with his boxing skills and he’s won most of his fights due to his relentless punching.
Santa Cruz will have a three-inch height and reach advantage over Mares, but it might not be much of a factor since he prefers to work inside and trade shots. The 32-year-old Mares fought for his homeland of Mexico at the 2004 Olympics. He won the IBF Bantamweight crown in December, 2010 when he beat Joseph Agbeko by a majority decision. He then beat Agbeko soon after in a rematch. He captured the vacant WBC 122 lb belt by beating Eric Morel and won his third world title as a featherweight when he stopped veteran Daniel Ponce De Leon of Mexico in the ninth round.
Mares enters the contest with a mark of 31-2-1 with 15 Kos. He was out of action for 16 months between August of 2015 and December, 2016 due to failing his vision test. Mares is 5-feet-4-inches tall with a 66-inch reach and has 262 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2005. He’s faced some tough opposition such as Santa Cruz, Cuellar, Vic Darchinyan, Jonathan Oquendo, Eric Morel, Anselmo Moreno, Jose Ramirez, Jhonny Gonzalez, Yonnhy Perez, Joseph Agbeko and Daniel Ponce De Leon. The only other man to beat him was Gonzalez via a first-round stoppage in 2013 bout.
The lone draw on Mares’ record was a 12-round majority affair with Perez in 2010. Mares is also an exciting boxer with good all-round boxing skills, but lacks a little when it comes to power with a knockout ratio of 44 percent. However, he isn’t afraid to brawl with the best of them when he has to and a fan-friendly boxer to watch. He may have been stopped in the first round by Gonzalez, but Mares does own a solid chin. He needs to be the aggressor here and push the pace, but as he found out three years ago that’s a tough task against Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz is used to dictating the pace and overwhelming his opponents with punches, but he won’t have his way for the entire 12 rounds with Mares. This should be another great action fight between the pair with several shifts in momentum. Both men can box and brawl and fans shouldn’t be surprised by any outcome here, including a draw. Just sit back and enjoy this matchup, but if you need to pick a winner I’d go with Santa Cruz again in another close contest.
Great rematch with Santa Cruz having a slight edge.
Play: Santa Cruz -475 @ BetOnline.ag
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