There are so many fights in boxing that have a huge built up but don’t live up to the hype. You can officially exclude the world title fight between Leon Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) and Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) from being on that list. The two fighters gave all the fans in attendance and viewing on television an outstanding action filled fight Saturday night. The bout was for the WBA “super” featherweight and WBC “diamond” featherweight championships. The thrilling showdown was another edition of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Championship series. (PBC). ESPN aired the show which took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Mares came out like a man on a mission bullying Santa Cruz from the opening bell. He smothered Santa Cruz so much that he could not get any offense going having to fend Mares off first as a priority. When Mares wasn’t mauling Santa Cruz against the ropes he was forcing clinches and holding as well. This went on for the first two rounds. In round 3 Santa Cruz weathered the storm and begin to implement his own offense. Santa Cruz surprised many with not only his ability to box but his ability to outbox Mares. This was supposed to be a major edge for Mares entering the fight. This is was also the beginning of the end of sorts because Mares was not able to hurt Santa Cruz where Santa Cruz was able to shake him up. Santa Cruz had started to take control of the fight by the middle rounds. They each exchanged leather at the 10 second warning mark to end the rounds for the rest of the fight. Santa Cruz seemed to get the better of those too. The judges officially in the end scored it 114-114 even and 117-111 twice in favor of the winner Leo Santa Cruz.
The capacity crowd of a reported more than 13,000 were on their feet at the end of the fight. You could definitely say that they left satisfied that both fighters had given their very best efforts. Santa Cruz seemed to clearly win the fight but the fight still was competitive and exciting. The styles of both fighters seem to mesh really well together. Each fighter said they were open to a rematch. It seems to make sense for both. They both were paid really well reportedly over 7 figures each. This was without a doubt the best anticipated matchup of the PBC series thus far. A large majority of fans obviously loved the fight. It makes all the sense in the world to do it again.