In the night's main event, WBA super world featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz met a familiar foe in his second stint as champion when he took on former two-division WBC champion and current WBA world featherweight titleholder Abner Mares. For the first several rounds, Mares cut down the distance and stood toe-to-toe with Santa Cruz.
Mares ignored the game plan implemented by then-trainer Clemente Medina, so shame on Mares.
"Hopefully I am [the best featherweight in the world]", Santa Cruz said. And the champion from Lincoln Heights would not want it any other way. Santa Cruz landed a good right to the head but was countered with a combination to the head from Mares. "Robert Garcia is a trainer who has brought him up to a different level".
After that loss, Mares teamed up with respected trainer Robert Garcia. He knows how to send a fighter to fight. I take my hat off for him. But we like that.
"There is no way I could give a bad show, that's the type of style I am".
ABNER MARES: "I let the emotions get the best of me in the first fight, but I have more experience now than three years ago and I'm a more mature fighter, and I'm going to show that come tomorrow night". He took a piece of the featherweight title with a split decision over Jesus Cuellar in December 2016, and looked good doing it. He defended that belt with a 10-round technical decision over Andres Gutierrez in October.
Between these two wars with Mares and a pair of fantastic bouts against Carl Frampton, Santa Cruz has firmly established himself as appointment television.
Santa Cruz won the rematch via a unanimous decision
The Showtime card at Staples Center also includes Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) defending his WBC 154-pound title against veteran Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs). If that's the case, we could be in for a terrific rematch. It was a tough fight but thank God we got the victory. "It happened already. That's in the past. I think he is going to come out more relaxed and smarter and will try to move more".
"I've felt a sense of urgency my entire career, even when I was undefeated I felt like I can't lose a fight so I've felt that urgency my whole career and that my back's to the wall and this is what we have to do for every fight". And with the two Frampton fights, he has, too.
CBS Sports will update this breaking news story shortly. It's great to be back to finally give my fans here in Southern California a fight. Mares lands a short combination to Santa Cruz's body.
"Our focus isn't on looking for a stoppage", Mares said. "That was my mistake the first fight". "He had heart like a true Mexican warrior [in the first fight]".
In what SHOWTIME announcer Mauro Ranallo termed a "Featherweight Fiesta", Santa Cruz dictated the pace from the third round on, utilizing his reach and working off the jab. "You love to hear the people scream". Leos ready, Im ready, and it is now just time to show the world that we have reunited and we are both ready to go.. Following the bout, Santa Cruz said he would next like to fight Gary Russell Jr. "We have to fight for our family and we have to live for our future".
There's more. As we know, negotiations for Golovkin's proposed September 15 rematch with Canelo Alvarez have hit a snag.
Golovkin initially agreed to the 65-35 for the rematch, but that was before Alvarez botched the original May 5 fight date by testing positive for clenbuterol and getting suspended for six months. When Golovkin learned he could be stripped of the IBF title if he signed to fight Alvarez again, Golovkin demanded 50-50. Well, now the the sides are apparently entertaining that idea.