Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference

by
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.

Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference

by
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.

Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.

The final press conference was held at the Chick Hearn Press Room at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World Featherweight Title fight where Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19KO’s) will be defending against Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15KO’s).

The highly anticipated rematch will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and be televised on Showtime premium network in a rematch from their August 2015 bout.  The first bout was a very action packed one, with both fighters combining to throw over 2,000 punches. 

“The first fight was a really good one, but I think this one will be even better. Mares is a great fighter with a great trainer in Robert Garcia, and that’s the kind of challenge I want. We both want to give the fans great fights.”  Said champion Santa Cruz. 

Since the first fight Santa Cruz has fought at a very high level, including two fights against Carl Frampton that were very highly anticipated and big draws.  They were great learning experience fights for Santa Cruz, as he lost the first bout but looked better than ever in the rematch that he won.

“I’ve learned a lot from my last few fights. I’m not coming in here worried about losing, I just worry about giving the fans a great show. If Mares is better than me that night, then he will win. But I’ve worked too hard and I’m going to be at my peak on Saturday night.”

Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.

Santa Cruz pulled no punches in regards to the gravity of the bout, stating that he still would love to fight Gary Russell Jr., and that this bout can directly make or break that fight happening.

“I think the winner of this fight will be number one in this division. Gary Russell Jr. is a great fighter and I definitely want a rematch of our amateur fight. But me and Abner put a lot of pressure on our opponents and I don’t think Gary would like the pressure from either of us.”

Mares has went undefeated since the first bout with Santa Cruz; stringing together two nice victories over Jesus Cuellar and Andres Gutierrez. 

“This is going to be an exciting fight. I know Leo has matured as an athlete and fighter by fighting Frampton twice. But if you look at my last couple of performances, they speak for themselves. I think both of us are seasoned and better fighters right now.”  Said Mares.

Mares is ready for the absolute best version of Santa Cruz and no doubt expects a very tough fight once again seeing as Santa Cruz is in his fighting prime and looks better than ever recently.

Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.
Santa Cruz and Mares Hold Final Press Conference. Photo: Stephanie Trapp.

“We knew last time, and we know going into this fight, that Leo is a volume puncher. He comes forward and tries to tire you out. But I know that he is also a vulnerable fighter and I just have to take advantage of it this time.”

Mares once again reiterated that he is not going to be looking for the knockout, which he was trying for in the first bout, and instead is going to rely on boxing intelligence and a strong game plan that his team has cooked up.

“Our focus isn’t on looking for a stoppage. That was my mistake the first fight. I tried to destroy him. I’m going to follow instructions and show I’m the better fighter in there. There’s no doubt that the winner of this fight is number one in this division. There’s some great fighters at featherweight, but we’re fighting for the top spot in this division.”

The table is set for an exciting matchup between the volume punching champion Santa Cruz and the highly experienced and battle tested veteran in Mares; may the best man win, can’t wait for Saturday.


WBA Ratings movements as of May 2018

WBA Ratings movements as of May 2018



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