Tag Archives: Yakubu Amidu


Pedraza Wins Split Decision Over Edner Cherry
Easter and Herring Notch Victories on SHO EXTREME®
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Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
SHOWTIME®  Announces ALL ACCESS Epilogue: Adrien Broner Will be Available on SHOWTIME Sports®  Digital Platforms Next Week
CINCINNATI, Ohio — (Oct. 3, 2015) – Cincinnati’s Adrien Broner won a world title in his fourth weight division with an impressive 12-round TKO over Khabib Allakhverdiev fighting in front of 5,932 of his hometown fans at the U.S. Bank Arena and live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®\\. Broner (now 30-2, 22 KOs) put his fast hands, thudding power and love of showmanship on display in an exciting performance.
Allakhverdiev (now 19-2, 9 KOs) took Broner’s best shots without going down, but with an in-shape Broner, but with upping the punishment in the last round, Referee Harvey Dock decided to mercifully wave the fight over at 2:23.
Broner looked sharp in his return to the super lightweight division. He landed 50 percent of his power punches, with the right uppercut being his most effective tool.
“Honestly, a young guy like me, they just threw me a lot of cash at a young age.  It was hard to adjust to the fame, to the lights. After my last fight I said I wasn’t putting my all into it,” said Broner. “It’s definitely all up to me. After that bell, no one can help me. I’m still AB, but this next half of my career I’m going to be about boxing and about business. Nothing has changed. I’m comfortable at whatever weight my opponent is comfortable at. But I’m getting wiser, I’m getting older.”
“No question Broner won the fight. He is the real thing and tonight he showed it,” said Allakhverdiev’s promoter Vlad Hrunov.
In the opening bout of the telecast, IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs) stayed undefeated and successfully defended his championship via 12-round split decision over Florida’s Edner Cherry (34-7-2, 19 KOs).
Pedraza prevailed in the closely contested and difficult-to-judge battle, by scores of 117-111 Pedraza, 116-112 Cherry and the deciding 117-111 Pedraza.
Cherry landed the harder punches and pressed the attack, while the southpaw Pedraza was very elusive and countered well with quick combinations.
“I won the fight. It was a very tight fight and very hard fight, but I definitely won the fight,” said Pedraza. “I was very calm when they were reading the scores because I knew I won. I’m very happy. We did a great job and started strong, but Edner had his moments. With my team, we used our intelligence to get the victory. I was able to change my style, switch to southpaw and Cherry couldn’t handle the left hand.”
Cherry was gracious in defeat saying, “I just left it in the judges’ hands. If I knocked him out it wouldn’t be up to the judges. It’s them. That’s the judges. That’s what happens when you leave it to the judges. I’m not taking anything away from him. It was a good fight.”
Fighting in the main event of the SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME® portion of the night, Toledo, Ohio lightweight Robert Easter Jr. moved his undefeated record to 16-0, 13 KOs with a three-round demolition of Argentinean veteran Juan Ramon Solis (now 25-10, 9 KOs).
Easter Jr. made it look easy as he dug thudding body shots at Solis and rocked him with hard, accurate shots to the head. Easter threw 177 total punches and landed 68 of them. Solis threw 44 and landed just nine.
By the third round, Solis’ corner had seen enough and requested a stoppage at the :45 second mark.
“You prepare for the worst in the gym, with these kinds of fights you never know, said Easter Jr. “With a performance like this, you know you’re onto the next level. I showed that tonight.”
To open the telecast, 2012 U.S. Olympian and undefeated lightweight Jamel Herring (14-0, 8 KOs) went 10 rounds for the first time in his career while scoring a dominant unanimous decision over durable Ghanaian Yakubu “Black Mamba” Amidu (19-8-2, 19 KOs).
Herring showed his tremendous speed and superior strength while firing rapid-fire combinations to Amidu’s head and body. To his credit, Amidu hung tough for the duration and never stopped trying.
“I knew he was good. I respected what his experience and what he was putting down,” said Herring. “I showed my skill and went the distance with a veteran that had never been down. It’s a blessing to showcase my talent on a world stage. I’ve worked hard to get here and good things come to those who wait.”
The judges’ scores (99-91, 100-90, and 100-90) reflected Herring’s dominance.
In non-televised action, Cincinnati’s own Jamontay Clark moved to 7-0, 4 KOs with a brutal two-round stoppage of Hartford’s Joe Wilson Jr. (now 3-3).
Using an accurate and powerful left hand as his primary weapon, Clark had Wilson down twice in the first and once more to begin the second before the merciful stoppage at :28.
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Broner vs. Allakhverdiev was promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billion Promotions.
For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @AdrienBroner, @WarriorsBoxProm and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports and www.Facebook.com/AdrienTheProblemBroner


“I will be victorious on Saturday Night.” – Adrien Broner
He can clown around all he wants, but that won’t help him when
 we are in the ring.” – Khabib Allakhverdiev
Click HERE To Download Photos
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Tickets Still on Sale!!!
CINCINNATI, Ohio — (Oct. 1, 2015) –Two days before Adrien Broner goes for his fourth world title in his home state of Ohio, Broner and his opponent, Russia’s Khabib Allakhverdiev participated in a final press conference Thursday at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Former three-division world champion Broner(30-2, 22 KOs)returns to his hometown against fellow former world champion Allakhverdiev(19-1, 9 KOs) for the WBA Super Lightweight world title thisSaturday, Oct. 3 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from U.S. Bank Arena.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, undefeated IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) will defend his title against former world title challengerEdner Cherry (24-6-2, 19 KOs). 
In the main event on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME®, top undefeated prospect Robert Easter Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, and Argentinean veteran Juan Ramon Solis (25-9, 9 KOs) will square off in a 10-round lightweight bout.
Opening the SHO EXTREME telecast (8 p.m. ET/PT), unbeaten U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring (13-0, 8 KOs), of Cincinnati will be opposed by former African champion Yakubu “Black Mamba” Amidu(19-7-2, 19 KOs), in 10-round lightweight fight.
Below is what the fighters had to say today:
“I told you I wouldn’t do any interviews or talk. Nothing has changed. I just want to thank everyone for coming. I will be victorious on Saturday night, October 3.”
“I don’t talk too much. I am ready to fight Saturday.
“He [Broner] is nervous. That’s why he’s acting like a clown.
“This is his hometown. It’s his last chance for a world title and he shows up late and makes it look like he’s joking around with everybody and doesn’t care. I’ve seen fighters do this before and it’s because he is scared.
“He knows what will happen on Saturday. He can clown around all he wants, but that won’t help him when we are in the ring.
“I feel great seeing him nervous. For me, this is just another fight and just another win and that’s what it will be. A win for me over this nervous clown. I am going to beat him in front of all his friends.”
JOSE PEDRAZA, IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion
“Everyone says they’re going to come knock me out, good luck to him. It’s not happening.
“He has a lot of experience as a professional, but I have been fighting for a long time as well so I’m not worried about who he’s faced.
“I’m ready for 12 rounds but I want to get him out of there sooner. I’m going to work the body hard to try to get that done.
“I want to face the best. I’d prefer not to face another Puerto Rican but if it’s the best fight out there, I will face anybody.
“I have no prediction for the fight. I have a good strategy for the fight and if it works, I will win by knockout.”
“I want to thank the fans. Everyone that has supported me. Tune in Saturday night. It will be a great show.”
“I’m coming out to put on a great show. You know I don’t like to be in the ring too long so you will see a knockout.
“I don’t watch a lot of tape or anything like that. I just work hard in the gym and do the best I can.”
“My technical abilities are my best qualities in the ring. This is my work and I fight with honor.
“Argentinean boxers are known for giving everything in their fights. I am going to do everything to win Saturday night.”
“I am honored to be here. Everyone that knows me knows that I come out and I give it my all.
“Expect to see a great fight. Much respect to my opponent for taking this fight, but that’s where it stops. Once we get in the ring its all about business.”
“I have fought some great fighters. I have experience in the boxing game. I am here to give Jamel Herring a good fight. I want you to come and watch a good fight.
“I’m from Ghana. I live in Los Angeles. I have been living there for six years. I started boxing as a pro in Ghana. I went to South Africa. Then I went to England and then I came here. I have a huge advantage in experience.”
MIKE STAFFORD, Adrien Broner’s Trainer
“Adrien is at his weight class this time. We have been fighting at 146 and 147, he’s had the title at 147, but now he is back at his weight. He is mean and lean.
“Adrien knows how important this is. He knows Khabib is a great former champion. We thank you for coming to our city. Not too many people would come into this situation.
“We thank our families and friends and without these guys wouldn’t be up here. These are a great bunch of guys. I am like a stand-in father to all of them and I appreciate you supporting them.”
LEON MARGULES, President of Warriors Boxing
“Everyone knows who Adrien Broner is. Adrien has a promotional company called About Billions Promotions and they have been fun, interesting and I hope we get to work together again.
“Not only do we have a great international card, but we have several fighters, up-and-comers from this area.
“When you look at this card, you have one of the more explosive fights boxing fans will see this year. Reigning IBF Junior Lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza and former title challenger that is fighting at the weight class that he wants – Edner Cherry.
“Cincinnati is a great city. It is also a world class sports town. Bengals, Reds, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University and the Cyclones that play in this building. They also have Adrien Broner.
“He is the most talented and naturally gifted fighter in the world today. I believe he can be the next superstar in our sport. He is 26-years-old. His finesse speed and power is unlike any I have seen in a long time. I am proud to be his partner and work with him on this fight.”
RAVONE LITTLEJOHN, President of About Billions Promotions
“Thanks Adrien for showing up. He has brought some great things into this camp.
“Thank Adrien Broner for giving me an opportunity to promote this fight. We are ready to go. Tickets are still available. See you Saturday night.”
VLAD HRUNOV, World of Boxing
“Thank you very much. Why do we still not sell out? If we are in your hometown. Welcome to the best fight of this city in boxing history.”
JAVIER BUSTILLO, President of Universal Promotions
“It is a pleasure and honor to be working with Leon Margules. I have been working in boxing for 20 years and I have never seen anyone like Jose Pedraza. We know we are fighting Edner Cherry – a good boxer.
“We call Jose the ‘Sniper.’  You are going to see a sniper Saturday night. He won’t miss a punch.”
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For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @AdrienBroner, @WarriorsBoxProm and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOSports and www.Facebook.com/AdrienTheProblemBroner


From U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio
Click HERE To Download Photos From Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
CINCINNATI, Ohio — (Sept. 30, 2015) – Adrien Broner (30-2, 22 KOs) and Khabib Allakhverdiev(19-1, 9 KOs) held a media workout at The Punch House in Cincinnati on Wednesday as they prepare for this Saturday’s WBA Super Lightweight World Championship, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from U.S. Bank Arena.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, undefeated IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) will defend his title against former world title challengerEdner Cherry (24-6-2, 19 KOs). 
SHOWTIME EXTREME fighters and undefeated prospects Robert Easter Jr. and Jamel Herringalso participated in Wednesday’s workout.  Easter Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) will take on Juan Ramon Solis(20-9, 9 KOs) while Herring (13-0, 8 KOs) will face Yakubu Amido (19-7-2, 17 KOs) in separate 10-round lightweight bouts this SaturdayNOTE: Solis is a late replacement for the previously announced Miguel Acosta as an opponent for Easter Jr.
While Broner continued his vow of silence with the media, the three-division world champion “let his fists do the talking” in a spirited workout that lasted nearly 90 minutes. 
Here’s what the rest of the SHOWTIME fighters had to say on Wednesday:
“I expect Broner to try to play his game, but we will play our game.
“The experience I gained after losing the title in my last fight [against Jesse Vargas] is that I really understand the opportunity that I am being given going into this fight.
“I am not worried about fighting in Broner’s hometown.  I have fought many fighters in their own cities and it doesn’t bother me.
On Saturday night, I will show the fans a great fight and come out with the victory.”
“We train hard all the time, we are in great shape and we prepare for every fight like the opponent is the champion.
“Edner Cherry is a very experienced fighter.  He is a strong guy and good puncher.
“I am in great shape and I’m ready to fight 12 rounds.
“This could very well be the toughest fight of my career.  He hasn’t lost in seven years.  But we are very prepared, studied the fight well and are ready to go come Saturday.
“My youth will play a huge part in this fight. I’m much younger than him and, without a doubt, I will win this fight.
“I can’t wait for the fans to watch this fight and if they can’t be here than I hope they watch on SHOWTIME.  It will be a great fight.”
 “This will be a very tough fight.  We’ve been training hard and had a great camp.
“I’m not taking anything away from him, he’s a tough fighter.  He’s a champion for a reason.  But on Saturday night I’m coming for that title, that’s my job.
“We trained for 12 hard rounds, but if the knockout comes, then I will be very excited.  All I’m looking for is a very hard 12-round fight.
“Ever since my title loss to Timothy Bradley in 2008, I’ve pushed myself to get back into this position and to give myself the opportunity for a title shot at the right weight class.  I’m finally in the right weight class for me.
“Bradley was the much bigger fighter when we fought [in 2008]. That was a mistake on our end. He just was the bigger guy, but I was in the ring with one of the best fighters in the world and I really learned from that fight.
“I tell people that I am so glad that I didn’t win that title against Bradley because, in my mind, I would’ve been fighting at 140, but that wasn’t my weight class. I would’ve been risking my life fighting at 140.  I glad I didn’t win it, but I’m also glad I hung in there and got myself back into a big fight.
“I’ve been preparing for this fight for 15 years, and it’s going to show on Saturday.”
 “I have a lot of people coming from Toledo to see me. They’re all excited about it.
“This is my second time fighting on SHOWTIME EXTREME and I’m truly blessed.  It’s a good opportunity to showcase my skills on national television.
“I know nothing about my opponent, but I do that on purpose.  It’s been the same thing as the rest of my 15 opponents. I didn’t study them at all.  Whoever they put in front of me, that’s the test I have to overcome and so far I’ve been doing excellent and passed them all.”
 “He’s my best opponent yet.  He’s a tough guy, very durable.  He’s a lot more durable than my last few opponents.
“I take nothing from him, but I’m motivated and looking forward to pushing myself more than anything.  It’s going to be a great step up and people are going to see a lot more than they’ve seen from me in the past.
“I’m in great shape.  I just had a fight back at the end of August.  I took literally three days off instead of a whole week and came right back, so I’ve been in shape for the past three months getting to this date.
“It’s a blessing to be able to showcase my talent on the national scene instead of the local venues or being on the big cards but not getting any kind of TV exposure.  Now I’m part of the big show.
“I don’t take anything for granted or let it get to my head.  To me it’s another fight and I take every fight seriously. It doesn’t matter who I’m in with, every fight is a stepping stone to a title, so every fight is important.”
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For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @AdrienBroner, @WarriorsBoxProm and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOSports and www.Facebook.com/AdrienTheProblemBroner


* * * VIDEO ALERT * * *
“You have to learn from your mistakes.  When you understand and you know why you’re losing, then you can fix it.  This next half of my career I’m going to be the AB that’s about business and about boxing.” – Adrien Broner
Click on the link or photo below to watch, share and/or embed this video
Photo Credit: SHOWTIME
SHOWTIME Sports® met with Adrien Broner at HeadBangers Gym in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to face Khabib Allakhverdiev this Saturday on SHOWTIME®.  During the lengthy interview Broner spoke candidly about his approach to the sport and learning from past mistakes.  We found the interview compelling and, in lieu of limited access to Broner in the lead up to this event, felt it necessary to share this long form version in preparation for advanced stories you may be working on.
Broner vs. Allakherdiev for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship this Saturday live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
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For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @AdrienBroner, @WarriorsBoxProm and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOSports and www.Facebook.com/AdrienTheProblemBroner



Adrien Broner To Face Khabib Allakhverdiev For
WBA Super Lightweight World Title
Full Night of Non-Televised Action Inside The Arena Also Features
Unbeaten Up-And-Comers Jamontay Clark and Raynell Williams
CINCINNATI (September 24, 2015) – Top undefeated prospects Robert Easter Jr. and Jamel Herring will enter the ring in separate bouts on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME® on Saturday, October 3 live at8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
The SHO EXTREME telecast will lead into SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME® at10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.  In the main event, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-2, 22 KOs)will take on Khabib “The Hawk” Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs)for the WBA Super Lightweight World Championship. In the co-main event, IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) defends his title against veteran Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19 KOs).
Easter Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) and Herring (13-0, 8 KOs) will look to remain undefeated when they face former world champion Miguel Acosta (29-8, 23 KOs) and former African champion Yakubu “Black Mamba” Amidu (19-7-2, 19 KOs), respectively, in 10-round lightweight fights.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions, are priced at $154, $104, $79, $54, and $29 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at the U.S. Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores, call 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Another pair of undefeated local prospects will appear on the undercard action:  Jamontay “Quiet Assassin” Clark (6-0, 3 KOs) faces Romon Barber (5-9, 4 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout and Raynell Williams(9-0, 5 KOs) competes in an eight- round lightweight affair against an opponent to be announced.
Rounding out the action is 32-year-old heavyweight Danny Calhoun (5-1 3 KOs) out of Chicago taking on 24-year-old Toledo-native Calvin Pritchard (2-6-3) in a six-round contest, 27-year-old Cincinnati-born Aaron Hollis (3-0, 2 KOs) facing 27-year-old DeWayne Wisdom (6-25-1, 3 KOs) out of Indianapolis in six rounds of featherweight action and 29-year-old Mel “Black Diamond” Crossty (7-0-1, 1 KO) out of Cincinnati going up against 25-year-old Cleveland-born Thomas Mattice (3-0, 3 KOs) in a 6/8 round lightweight attraction.
An accomplished amateur who was a 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, the 24-year-old Easter Jr. will be seeking his fourth victory of 2015 after picking up knockouts over Osumanu Akaba, Miguel Mendoza and Alejandro Rodriguez. Unbeaten since turning pro in 2012, the Toldeo, Ohio-born prospect faces a tough challenge in 30-year-old Amidu. Born in Ghana, Amidu, who trains in Los Angeles, will be fighting for the third time this year.
The 29-year-old Herring represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games after winning the U.S. National Amateur title the same year. Fighting out of Cincinnati, Herring hopes for a fourth straight victory in 2015 after beating Hector Velazquez, Ariel Vasquez and Hector Marengo. He faces the toughest opponent of his pro career when he steps up against the 37-year-old Acosta. Born in Venezuela and fighting out of Philadelphia, Acosta won a world title and defended it against previously unbeaten fighters Paulus Moses and Armando Cordoba.
Another talented young fighter to come out of Cincinnati in recent years, Clark cites Aaron Pryor as one of his boxing idols. The slick 20-year-old recently completed his first six-round bout with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Garcia in May and stopped Marco Reyes in September. He returns in his hometown against the 33-year-old Barber out of Wichita, Kansas.
Fighting out of Cleveland, the 2008 U.S. Olympian Williams has been busy in 2015, picking up four victories including two by stoppage. The 26-year-old fights at U.S. Bank Arena for the second time in his career onOctober 3 and will look to make it a perfect 10 victories in a row to start his career.
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For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @AdrienBroner, @WarriorsBoxProm and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSportsand www.Facebook.com/AdrienTheProblemBroner

Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN’s Santa Cruz vs. Mares Delivers Largest Boxing Audience on ESPN Since February 1998

Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Boxing Telecast Ever on ESPN Deportes
ESPN Classic to Air Instant Classic Tonight
The third edition of ESPN’s Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN presented by Corona Extra (PBC on ESPN) series-headlined by Leo Santa Cruz’s majority decision win over Abner Mares-on Saturday, Aug. 29, delivered the largest boxing audience on ESPN since February 1998 (02/22/98 Mark Johnson vs. Arthur Johnson).
The telecast was seen by an average of 1,217,000 viewers (P2+)-up 30 percent from the average of the previous two PBC telecasts on ESPN. The telecast peaked from 12:00-12:15am with 1,641,000 viewers (P2+) according to Nielsen.
ESPN’s Spanish-language telecast of the event on ESPN Deportes averaged a 1.3 Hispanic HH US Rtg and 355,000 Hispanic viewers-making it the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast to ever air on ESPN Deportes. The telecast peaked from 11:15-11:30 p.m. with 453,000 viewers.

ESPN Classic will reair the fight tonight at 7 p.m. ET as an Instant Classic. In addition, ESPN Deportes will re-air the entire card on Saturday, September 5, at 7 p.m.


In Co-Main Event Julio Ceja Stops Hugo Ruiz In Super Bantamweight Bout
Credit: Suzanne Teresa, Premier Boxing Champions
Los Angeles, CA (August 29, 2015) – In a battle of Southern California featherweights, Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, (31-0-1, 17 KOs) defeated Abner Mares, (29-2-1, 15 KOs) by majority decision in a fight reminiscent of Mexican wars between boxing legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales on Saturday night. Scores tallied 117-111 twice and 114-114 in front of a raucous crowd of 13,109 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for the Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN main event.
With savage uppercuts and brutal power shots from the opening bell, the combatants threw more than 2,000 punches combined with Santa Cruz connecting 35 percent of his total 1,050 punches and Mares connecting 23 percent of his 980 total punches.
In the third round, Mares was cut from an accidental head-butt, with blood sporadically continuing to pour throughout the fight. Santa Cruz took advantage of the distracted Mares in the fourth drilling him with body shots. During the fifth stanza a second accidental head-butt opened an additional cut on the forehead of Mares.
Mares fought his way back into the fight in the sixth and seventh rounds, but Santa Cruz caught a much needed second win starting in the eighth and swept the championship rounds. The fight’s brutal ebbs and flows culminated in a epic 12th round with Santa Cruz and Mares throwing non-stop power shots to close the fight.
Opening the Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN telecast Julio Ceja, (30-1, 27 KOs), of Tianepantia, Mexico won with a sensational fifth round stoppage of Hugo Ruiz, (35-2, 30 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico. Ceja suffered a third round knockdown but came back to floor Ruiz in round five and earned the victory after swarming the staggered Ruiz. Time of the stoppage was 2:34.
Undefeated lightweight prospect Alejandro Luna, (19-0, 14KOs), of Bellflower, California, dominated and stopped veteran Sergio Lopez, (18-9-1,12 KOs) in the fourth round. A barrage of punches resulted in the onslaught being stopped at the
:34 mark.

To the roar of the huge crowd at STAPLES Center, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, 24-5 (19KO’s), of Mexicali, Mexico, battered Hector Munoz, (22-16-1 (14KO’s) over five rounds of their scheduled ten round clash. With power punches from all angles, Angulo bloodied Munoz and dropped him in the fifth. Following that stanza, Munoz did not come out for round six with Angulo being awarded the well-deserved victory.

Local fan favorite Jessie Roman (20-2, 9 KOs) continued to impress with a dominant eight round unanimous decision over Huntington Beach, California’s Hector Serrano, 17-5 (5KO’s). Dropping Serrano in the seventh, Roman went on to win a unanimous decision by scores of 79-72 on all three scorecards.
Fighting out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Brian Castano, 13-0 (9KO’s) was awarded a victory by disqualification over Jonathan Batista, 14-7, (7KO’s) at the 1:15 mark of the fifth round. After being dropped in the second round, Batista continuously resorted to low blows over the balance of the bout. Points were deducted from Batista three times over the third and fourth rounds before another low blow in the fifth resulted in the stoppage.
Middleweight prospect Alan Castano of Buenos Aires, Argentina making his U.S. debut improved to 9-0, (6KO’s) with a fourth round knockout of the valiant Thomas Howard, 8-5 (4KO’s) of Trenton, Michigan. Although not knocked down, Howard absorbed the full array of punches from Castano prior to the bout being stopped at the 2:11 mark of the fourth stanza.
Welterweights were featured in a six round bout as welterweight Anthony Flores, (9-0, 5 KOs), of Los Angeles, California won a majority decision over Curtis Morton, (3-5-3) of Harlem, NY. The battle featuring excellent two-way action throughout was scored 58-56 twice for Flores and 57-57.
In a scheduled ten round super middleweight bout, contender Paul Mendez, (20-2-2, 10 KOs) dropped Andrik Saralegui (19-3, 15 KOs), of Los Mochis, New Mexcio, twice in the second round. The Delano, California native earned the stoppage, as Saralegui did not answer the bell for round three.
Bantamweights were featured in the second bout as Isaiah Najera (1-1), of Yakima, Washington upset the pro debuting Antonio Santa Cruz (0-1), of Los Angeles, California via majority decision. Scores were 39-37 twice for Najera and 38-38. Antonio is the younger cousin of headliner Leo Santa Cruz.
In theopening bout of the afternoon, a four round lightweight clash, Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, CA improved to 3-0 with a spirited unanimous decision over ManualRubalcava (2-14), of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Scores were 40-36 on all scorecards.
Here is what the fighters had to say:

Leo Santa Cruz:
“I was surprised Abner came out so strong. He came right at me but we figured him out and we got the win.
“I stayed outside with the jab. We were able to take control.
“My dad told me that we could beat him by boxing. We want to be aggressive but tonightwe had to box him too and that’s how we got it done.
“If he wants the rematch I’ll give him the rematch. I want to fight the best. I want the big fights.
“I’m very happy. This is a dream come true. I’m happy and excited and thankful to all of my fans who supported me.”
Abner Mares:
“It was a close fight, but I thought I won the fight. I thought I pulled it off.
“My plan was to box him, but I started out really fast. I felt good but my corner told me to box more, so I did that. It was a good fight.
“Leo is good. He’s a great fighter. I knew it was going to be a tough fight.
“I’m more than willing to have a rematch. It was a close fight. I knew he had never faced a fighter like me and he proved today he’s a great fighter.
“The fans were the winners tonight. It was a great fight for the fans. I think I deserve a rematch and I think the fans deserve another show.
“It was my mistake. I started really good, but along the way I changed my plan for some weird reason and I don’t know why I did it.”
Julio Ceja:
“I was well prepared, but I was surprised I got dropped. I felt mentally and physically good after that and I knew I was going to come back.
“At first it was difficult because Ruiz was moving too much, however I knew I was going to win.
“I hope Leo Santa Cruz goes back up to super bantamweight so I can fight him next.”
Alfredo Angulo:
“I feel really good. I worked and used my jab. I’ve never used my jab too much and tonight I tried to use it more and more and more.”
“When I fought in June, it had been a long time since I fought and I was fighting in a new weight class. To be honest, I was nervous and today I was more comfortable.”
“I could tell the the fans were behind me tonight and they motivate me to work even harder in each fight.”
Santa Cruz vs. Mares, a 12-round featherweight bout on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN on Saturday, August 29 aired live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and was promoted by TGB Promotions.


Leo Santa Cruz & Abner Mares Face-Off Before
PBC on ESPN Showdown Saturday Night at STAPLES Center
Click HERE For Photos From
Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions
LOS ANGELES (August 27, 2015) – With just days to go until their Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN showdown, Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs)and Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs)faced-off at the final press conference at Club Nokia in Los Angeles Thursday before they enter the ring at STAPLES Center on Saturday, August 29.
Fighters participating on Saturday night’s undercard were also in attendance at Thursday’s press conference including exciting Mexican brawlers Hugo Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs) andJulio Cesar Ceja (29-1, 26 KOs) who meet in a super bantamweight world title bout that opens the PBC on ESPN telecast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Joining them was undefeated Southern California prospect Alejandro Luna (18-0, 13 KOs) who also competes in undercard action, which begins in the arena at 2:05 p.m. PT Saturday.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $25, $50, $75, $150 and $300, not including applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849 or at STAPLES Center.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
“This is my dream since I was small. I wanted to be the main event and I worked hard for it. I never gave up. I’m so excited to be here in my hometown seeing my hard work paying off.
“I’m well prepared. This is the hardest fight of my career but that’s why I train hard. These are the fights I want because these are the fights the fans want.
“We’re going to go out with the intention of knocking him out. If we can’t, we’re still going to make a great fight for the fans and find a way to get the victory.
“I need this win for my legacy and to get to that next level. I’m here to fight the best.
“Every fighter has a weakness. When we get inside the ring we’re going to find it. We have a great game plan and it’s going to show on Saturday.
“I’m very motivated by keeping my 0 intact. I want to show the world that I deserve to fight the best. If I beat Abner, I can get to that next level. I’m very motivated to go out there and get the win.
“I think the crowd will be 50-50. We’re both from here so it’s going to be crazy. At the end of the fight it’s going to be rowdy. We’re excited that they’re showing love and we’ll give them a great fight.
“I can’t wait for Saturday night to give everybody a great show. You don’t want to miss it.”
“I think I’ve done enough talking. I’ve talked about how I’m going to beat him and I know I’m going to get it done.
“It’s here. I’m ready to put it to work. I’m going to do what I know how to do, which is fight and give it my all.
“I’m blessed to be here. I’m excited to be fighting at STAPLES Center. It shows all the hard work I’ve put in.
“I’m not worried about the crowd and who they’re rooting for. I’m there to make everybody a believer. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere and I can’t wait.
“I’ve definitely faced tougher opponents than he has. I’ve been in against legitimate champions. I’m taking him to deep waters.
“My loss is completely forgotten. In life you have obstacles, especially in this sport. I’m over it. I’m back. This is where I want to be. When I fight guys the level of Leo Santa Cruz it brings the best out of me.
“It’s time. It’s time to give everybody a “Fight of the Year”. There’s no doubt. I’m going to go in there and have fun.”
“I’ve worked very hard and conditioned myself to be my very best. This is what I’ve dreamed about since my pro debut. I made my debut eight years ago and this has always been on my list of goals and now I have that opportunity.
“My opponent is a great fighter. I’m a great fighter. This is everything that I covet. I want to thank Los Angeles for supporting these fighters.
“It gives me butterflies to think about the big stage on Saturday, but it is really an honor. I’m in spectacular condition to put on a great performance on Saturday.
“What Ceja and I will do on Saturday is put on a spectacular performance. I promise an amazing fight. The ring will be hot and ready for the main event.”
“I’ve trained very hard and I’m very focused. My conditioning is fantastic. Being on this card means a lot because of two great Mexican warriors that are headlining.
“This is huge for three reasons: because it’s a world title, because I want to be victorious and because I am making my U.S. debut. This is all very important to me.
“The loss I suffered is in my past. I tossed it away and put it in the rear view mirror. My focus is strictly on this opportunity. I’m not going to have any excuses. I think I’m more motivated mentally, physically and spiritually than I was for my last world title challenge.
“I am glad that Hugo Ruiz is prepared because I am ready to put on a great performance Saturday. It will live up to the magnitude of this great event.
“It’s been an extensive training camp in Mexico and I’m focused and dedicated to showcasing my talents on Saturday.
“I can guarantee on Saturday the fans will get a great fight and a night of action.”
“I’m really excited and grateful to be on this undercard. Mares and Santa Cruz are guys that I admire and look up to in this sport.
“It’s a little weird because I grew up in a cowboy family, but something about boxing captivated me as a kid. I went to the gym even though my dad didn’t want me to. I proved everyone wrong.
“I fought over a hundred amateur fights and now I’m here in this great position. My opponent is coming to fight. I’ve prepared myself one hundred percent. We’re here to give fireworks and you should expect fireworks.”
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.comwww.staplescenter.comand www.TGBPromotions.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeoSantaCruz2 @AbnerMares, @ESPNBoxing, @STAPLESCenter, @TGBPromotions and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampionswww.facebook.com/STAPLESCenter andwww.facebook.com/ESPN. Follow the conversation using #PBConESPN.


Leo Santa Cruz & Abner Mares Headline PBC on ESPN Live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles
10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Click HERE For Photos From Suzanne Teresa
LOS ANGELES (August 26, 2015) – Boxing fans and media members gathered at Placita Olvera in Los Angeles Wednesday as fight week kicked-off for Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN headlined by Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs) taking on Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday, August 29 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a super bantamweight world title fight between Hugo Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs)and Julio Cesar Ceja (29-1, 26 KOs).Mexican brawler and Southern California favorite Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (23-5, 19 KOs)worked out for the fans that came out to Placita Olvera before he takes on Hector Munoz (23-15, 15 KOs) Saturday night.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $25, $50, $75, $150 and $300, not including applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849 or at STAPLES Center.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“We both have a lot to prove. Neither of us wants to lose. I know he’s really hungry to get the victory. I don’t want my first defeat so I’m going to go out there and put a show on.
“I have to pressure him and stay on top of him. I have to do what I always do. If that doesn’t work, we have different plans. We know the way to victory.
“This is a huge fight for Los Angeles. Everyone in the city has wanted us to fight and now they’re going to get it.
“We’re excited and happy to give the fans a great fight. At the end, the best man will win.
“You’re going to see a lot of action. I train hard to bring action. That’s what I do. We’re going to break him down little by little.
“No one wants to lose. We’re going to leave everything in the ring. When two Mexicans fight each other it’s always bloody. We both have everything to lose.
“Fight by fight I’ve been learning and picking up new things. I am definitely a brawler but I can box too. I want to finish my opponent once I get in there.”
“It feels good to be fighting in my hometown. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to fight here in Los Angeles. Headlining at STAPLES Center means the world to me and my fans. I can’t wait for August 29.
“I’m going up against a young, undefeated, talented and strong Leo Santa Cruz. He’s never tasted defeat. All of that motivates me to go in there and be the first one to take him down.
“I’m past my loss and I’m looking toward a fourth world title and making history in this sport.
“Being in Los Angeles means so much to me personally. I work so hard for these opportunities. But it’s for everybody, my family, my fans and everyone. I work hard in the gym every day for them.
“My experience is going to be the difference in this fight. I’ve faced tougher opponents and been a three-time champion. Every time that I fight someone at this level, it brings the best out of Abner Mares.
“Everything I overcame has brought me here and made me the person that I am. I’m more determined now than I’ve ever been.
“I have to win. My gameplan is to get the win. I am in there to destroy. I know what I have to do.
“Anything is possible. He has a lot of talents but I’m going to take what comes my way and put in a great performance.”
“Winning this fight means everything. I am prepared for a great performance.
“I’m very happy and very motivated for this fight. I’m ready for Saturday night.
“Ceja is a great fighter but we prepared one hundred percent to win this. It’s going to be the best of Mexican boxing.”
“This is a big opportunity for me and I am coming to knock Ruiz out. That is the plan.
“I want to be world champion. It is right in front of me. My time is here and I know I have the skills to get there.
“This is going to be a great fight for the fans. We are going to exchange and show our heart and the best man is going to win.”
“I’m honored to be part of a card of this magnitude. After my last victory I took one week off and got right back in the gym.
“Santa Cruz vs. Mares is great because I know that when two Mexicans get in the ring, they leave their heart and soul in there. I’m excited to put on a show for the fans in the arena Saturday and be part of a historic night.”
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.staplescenter.comand www.TGBPromotions.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeoSantaCruz2 @AbnerMares, @ESPNBoxing, @STAPLESCenter, @TGBPromotions and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/STAPLESCenter andwww.facebook.com/ESPN. Follow the conversation using #PBConESPN.


Live From STAPLES Center Saturday, August 29
10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
LOS ANGELES (August 24, 2015) – With fight week officially underway, top media members, fighters and trainers offered up their fight night predictions for the highly anticipated featherweight match-up between Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz and Abner Mares headlining Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN Saturday, August 29 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
The long-awaited battle is considered to be one of the most evenly matched fights in the sport and fans can look forward to the best that boxing has to offer on basic cable as Premier Boxing Champions returns to ESPN for its third installment on the network.
Fitting in with the prevailing notion that this bout is a true 50-50 fight, the prognosticators were almost evenly split on their fight night predictions, with Santa Cruz slightly edging out Mares by a count of just 19 to 18 with two undecided.
The predictions were razor thin in every regard as current and former fighters favored Mares by a count of seven to five while trainers favored Santa Cruz by a margin of five to two with journalists split evenly having nine select each man.
Overall more experts believed Santa Cruz would win by knockout with a five to three advantage while Mares was picked more times to win by decision with a narrow 15 to 14 edge.
Here’s an explanation from each of the experts on how they see the action playing out August 29:
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Mexican Legend: Abner Mares W 12 – It’s a good fight that will end in a very close decision. If Abner Mares has the proper strategy, then he can make it. But Mares has to be in good condition, physically, and, mentally. If he is not, then Leo Santa Cruz can win.
Juan Manuel Marquez, Mexican great and four-division champion: Abner Mares UD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – I think Abner Mares will win because he is a more technical fighter and more experienced.

Leo Santa Cruz has the virtue of throwing good combinations, but has the defect sometimes in that he is very mechanical. Abner’s virtue is very technical and he also throws good combinations. His defect is he cannot stand many punches.

Teddy Atlas, ESPN: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares – This stands to be the most substantial fight that Leo Santa Cruz has had. He’s had a terrific career so far, but this is the most significant step up in class of competition he will have faced.

There’s not doubt in my mind that Abner Mares has fought the much better competition throughout his career and he’s a better puncher and a slightly bigger guy. But I’m going to say that Santa Cruz wins a decision.

The way that Mares beats Santa Cruz is to have to hurt him, which is possible. But I also qualify it by saying that has to happen within the first five or six rounds, slow him down and take him out of that rhythm before Santa Cruz has gathered to much momentum and put rounds under his belt.

Santa Cruz comes forward and dominates you with truckloads of punches and eventually wears you down by keeping you so busy defensively that he has the upper hand. At the end of the day, I have to hang my hat on Santa Cruz to win a decision. Santa Cruz understands that this is the biggest fight of his career and he hasn’t learned how to lose, yet.

Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press: Abner Mares W 12 Leo Santa Cruz: I’m looking for Abner Mares to show flashes of greatness once again in a fight that really is a crossroads bout for both men.

This should be about as entertaining as it gets among the little guys, and will be a close competitive fight. I like Mares by decision in a tough scrap, handing Leo Santa Cruz his first loss.

Peter Quillin, former world champion, fights Michael Zerafa Sept. 12 on NBC: Leo Santa Cruz SD 12 Abner Mares – I honestly like them both. I like Leo Santa Cruz because he’s relentless with pressure and lots of punching. Mares is very strong and a good boxer. I think Santa Cruz wins by a split-decision in a really good fight
Paulie Malignaggi, former two-time champion: Abner Mares UD 12 Leo Santa Cruz- In a good fight, I’m picking Abner Mares. He seems a bit more versatile than Leo Santa Cruz and has been in with better opposition. That experience can help a lot when your opponent doesn’t have it.
Ronnie Shields, trainer of Erislandy Lara: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares – It’s a good fight, but I like Leo Santa Cruz because he’s more of a boxer. Abner Mares is the bigger puncher, but Santa Cruz, the kid just fights to the level of his competition. I really like Santa Cruz and I think that he’s going to win a good fight by a close, unanimous decision.
Virgil Hunter, trainer of Andre Berto, Amir Khan:  Abner Mares SD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – If Abner Mares boxes and uses his legs, he can present some problems to Santa Cruz, who sacrifices his height a lot. Being as tall as he is, he often squares up and fights too close.

That can play into Abner’s hands because he doesn’t have to worry about the reach. I would have to say this is a pick-em fight where it’s hard to give one fighter the edge. Abner can win, but he’s going to have to box. Leo can win with his volume punching. It’s just hard to pick a sure winner, but maybe Abner by a close split-decision.

Nigel Collins, ESPN: Abner Mares W 12 Leo Santa Cruz – Abner Mares has never looked quite the same since he was knocked out by Jhonny Gonzalez, but I think he still has superior skills compared to Leo Santa Cruz.

But it’s not going to be easy. Santa Cruz is a volume puncher and is going to be winging shots at Mares all night in a fast-paced, fan-friendly fight.  However, I think Santa Cruz’s aggression will give Mares the opportunity to catch him with counters and box his way to a narrow decision victory.

Brian Campbell, ESPN: Abner Mares TKO 9 Leo Santa Cruz – In this long-anticipated battle between Mexican-born action stars, don’t expect either man to take a step backward. Abner Mares, the shorter yet naturally bigger man, will need to dial back to his freewheeling and borderline reckless style of old in order to be most effective.

Mares will have advantages in power and is the more proven fighter at this weight class than Leo Santa Cruz. The jury is still out regarding just how good Santa Cruz really is. But if he ends up trapped in a firefight from start to finish, look for Mares to be the last man standing.

Deontay Wilder, heavyweight world champion, fights Johann Duhaupas Sept. 26 on NBC: Leo Santa Cruz TKO 11 Abner Mares – I’m going with my gut feeling and picking Leo Santa Cruz over Abner Mares. I see an 11th-round stoppage for Santa Cruz. I’m just going with a gut feeling on this one.
Keith Thurman, welterweight world champion: No pick – To be honest, I don’t have a pick. I’m just anticipating a good fight and a great performance between two great fighters.

I’ve seen both fighters fight but I can’t really break that one down. I like to be as accurate as I can be, and I don’t feel comfortable picking one over the other. It’s a great matchup this year, when boxing’s doing its thing.

Claudia Trejos, ESPN: Abner Mares MD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – Either one has real KO power. But the fight is at 126 pounds, where Abner Mares is most comfortable. This is a jump for Leo Santa Cruz.

Mares’ experience against top level opponents is an important element as well. If we the same Mares that showed up versus Anselmo Moreno, this would be new territory for Santa Cruz due to his limited experience against top quality fighters.

Nonetheless, I respect the high volume, high-octane fighter we find in Santa Cruz. It is always a crowd-pleasing style that can tantalize the eyes of the judges.

Bob Velin, USA TODAY Sports/Boxing Junkie: Abner Mares UD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – Leo Santa Cruz is one of the best pure boxers in the sport today. But Santa Cruz has not faced the quality of competition Abner Mares has faced.

Since his stunning first-round KO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez two years ago, Mares has taken his game to another level. He is a better boxer and now says Santa Cruz, a former sparring partner, is not at his level. I wouldn’t go that far, but I believe Mares’ combination of boxing skills and punching power will be an edge against Santa Cruz.

Steve Farhood, Boxing Historian for Showtime & Premier Boxing Champions: Abner Mares W 12 Leo Santa Cruz – I think that it’s going to be a great fight, but I have the slight edge to Abner Mares. He’s naturally the bigger guy.

Leo Santa Cruz will be putting on the pressure, but Mares punches a little bit harder and Santa Cruz can be hit, and I just think that that power edge might give a slight advantage to Mares in a long very exciting fight.

Mitch Abramson, New York Daily News: Leo Santa Cruz KO 10 Abner Mares – I’ll take Leo Santa Cruz by 10th-round knockout over Abner Mares. I think that he’ll get stronger as the fight goes on and eventually overpower Mares. I think that his power will carry up into the 126-pound division.
Joe Santoliquito, BWAA President, RingTV.com: Abner Mares KO 9 Leo Santa Cruz- I’m going to with Abner Mares over Leo Santa Cruz. I just think that Abner still has a hunger about him that makes him a special fighter. I’m going to go with Abner by a knockout in the ninth-round.
Omar Figueroa Jr., former junior welterweight champion, fights Antonio DeMarco Sept. 26 on NBC: Abner Mares MD 12 Leo Santa Cruz- I think that unless Leo Santa Cruz is really, really smart, then he’s going to lose. I think that Abner Mares is stronger and obviously naturally bigger fighter, and it depends on Santa Cruz and whether he’s able to keep the distance.

Santa Cruz is going to have to keep Mares outside, because if Mares manages to get inside and he’s able to use his strength, then Santa Cruz will be in trouble. I think that it will be Mares by decision.

Fernando Guerrero, middleweight title contender, fights Caleb Truax Sept. 18 on Bounce TV: Leo Santa Cruz SD 12 Abner Mares – Leo Santa Cruz has been in a great position with his momentum, and I’ve seen Abner Mares fight and he’s a really good fighter also.

But I think that if I have to pick, I would go with Leo because his momentum has just been awesome and he doesn’t know what defeat is. They’re two strong fighters, even though Mares has that upset loss to Jhonny Gonzalez.

So they’re both really good fighters who are Mexican and when you have that, you’re always going to have a war. I don’t see a knockout, but I do see Santa Cruz winning by a split-decision.

Jake Donovan, BoxingScene.com: Abner Mares W 12 Leo Santa Cruz – Leo Santa Cruz was once among the hottest stars on the rise, but I believe missed his chance at becoming something special by failing to maximize his talents in the 122-pound division.

Abner Mares may not be the same fighter he once was when he was among the best in the world as an unbeaten champion over three weight classes, but I believe a reincarnation of sorts will take place.

A boxing match early becomes a slugfest late (despite the perception that Mares is more reserved these days), with Mares edging it in a fight that can go either way.

Ryan Songalia, RingTV.com: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares – I like this fight a lot. It’s an all-action fight between two guys who won’t have to look for each other. I think that Abner Mares is a bit more versatile and has more options.

But Leo Santa Cruz is going to have to go out and do what he does and keep the punch volume up. I don’t think that Mares is a big enough puncher, so unless he can outwork Santa Cruz, I think that Santa Cruz wins a unanimous decision, maybe 8-4 in rounds.

Bernard Fernandez, Philly.com: Abner Mares TKO 8 Leo Santa Cruz- I presume that this is one of the fights that does not go to the scorecards. I’m sitting on the fence a little bit, but I’ll tip one way to Abner Mares over Leo Santa Cruz in the eighth round by a technical knockout.
Shawn Porter, former welterweight world champion: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares – I give that fight to Leo Santa Cruz. I’ve known Leo for a very long time. We fought in the amateurs together and made some national trips together, so obviously that’s where my heart lies.

But I think that overall, he’s got the work output and all of the intangibles to go with it to beat Abner Mares. I think that most likely the edge in the punching power will most likely go with Mares. But Mares seems to step back and admire his work where Leo just continues to work.

Mares is a very sharp fighter, but I think that in overall boxing ability, that I would go with Leo. Leo has a very high boxing pace and I think that he’s very smart in the ring and sees what he wants to see and throws what he wants to throw, accordingly.

Gary Russell Jr., 126-pound world champion: No pick – Between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz, I honestly just can’t pick a winner. I believe that Abner brings more to the table and that he’s more of a well-rounded fighter than Leo is, but I don’t know how Abner’s going to deal with Leo’s overwhelming pressure.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how Abner tries to offset that. In the end, it’s going to be a really exciting fight but it’s a coin-toss for me.

I would love for Abner to win, because he’s got a bigger fan base and I would love to fight him. Either way, I’d love to get the winner God-willing we get through our next fight.

If I had to choose between who I’d rather fight between Leo and Abner, it would be Abner based upon his fan base. But it’s too difficult to pick a winner.

Thomas Gerbasi, Senior Editor for BoxingScene.com, Editorial Director for Zuffa (UFC / Strikeforce):Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares – While I love this long overdue matchup, Abner Mares doesn’t seem to be the same fighter he was before the Jhonny Gonzalez fight.

Maybe this is the fight for him to get his mojo back, but Leo Santa Cruz’s volume attack should allow him to take over in the middle and late rounds and earn him the decision.

Matt Richardson, Fightnews.com: Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Abner Mares- I think it’s a really great fight and a hard fight to pick, but I’d probably lean toward Leo Santa Cruz. I think that Abner Mares has lost a little confidence in his abilities after being brutally knocked out by Jhonny Gonzalez.

Then, to see Gonzalez get knocked out the way he did by Gary Russell, that has to affect Mares in some way, mentally. It’s a pick-em fight and an action fight that Santa Cruz wins by a close decision.

Ruben Guerrero, trainer & father of Robert Guerrero: Leo Santa Cruz KO Abner Mares – I’m going with Leo Santa Cruz.  He’s a bad-ass fighter.  Abner Mares is good too, but Leo is a bigger man and has a longer reach.

I think Leo will be too strong and powerful for Mares.  I’m picking Leo to win by knockout in the later rounds.

Kenny Porter, trainer & father of Shawn Porter: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares- Right now I’m going to say Leo Santa Cruz. I look forward to that fight. Leo’s going to beat Abner Mares by a unanimous decision. I think that he will out-work him and out hustle him and out-box him.

Leo’s a combination guy and he’s boxing and he’s punching and he’s got pressure and he’s got the volume and he’s nonstop with his energy. He’s a hustler who is constantly moving and working.

Norm Frauenheim, The Ring magazine/www.15rounds.com: Leo Santa Cruz SD 12 Abner Mares: A rematch is probably the best pick. Abner Mares and Santa Cruz have been destined for this showdown. They know each other, as old friends and wary rivals.

In the here and now, however, it’s what they won’t know until opening bell.  Has soft opposition softened Santa Cruz? Is Mares still the tentative fighter he has been since getting KO’d by Jhonny Gonzalez?

The answers might determine the winner. But the guess here is that both will move beyond what the questions suggest, meaning a tough, edgy Santa Cruz and Mares at his aggressive, clever best.

That leads to the later rounds, when Santa Cruz will score with an advantage that isn’t a question. Despite going up in weight, Santa Cruz is longer. His three-inch advantage in reach will trouble Mares, forcing him to back pedal into a narrow scorecard loss that sets up the sequel.

Gary “Digital” Williams, Fightnews.com: Leo Santa Cruz UD 12 Abner Mares: I am leaning towards Leo Santa Cruz by unanimous decision.  Santa Cruz was very accurate and dominant in his last outing and I just think he will be too fast and accurate for Abner Mares. It should be a great fight.
Jermall Charlo, undefeated title contender, fights Cornelius Bundrage Sept. 12 on NBC: Abner Mares UD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – I’m going with Abner Mares. He’s a motivated fighter who wants to make up for his one loss. I’m thinking that he’ll win a 12-round decision.

Mares will try to load up, but that’s only going to be to push Leo Santa Cruz backward.
Santa Cruz is going to try to set the pace, but Mares is going to be the more dominant fighter in the end.

Jhonny Gonzalez, former champion: Leo Santa Cruz KO 8 Abner Mares – I believe that  Leo Santa Cruz will win by a knockout in the later rounds. Abner Mares is not the same since I knocked him out. Santa Cruz will waste himand then knock him out in the eighth round.
Jack Obermayer, Fight Fax Inc.: Leo Santa Cruz W 12 Abner Mares- I will take Leo Santa Cruz by decision based on his work rate. I think that Abner Mares is a little bit over the other side of the hill and that Santa Cruz will outwork him.
John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com/Doghouseboxing.com/Ringside Boxing Show: Abner Mares SD12 Leo Santa Cruz- Leo Santa Cruz versus Abner Mares is a classic 50-50 fight. Santa Cruz is a current junior bantamweight champion.

Mares is a former two-division champion. Santa Cruz, 27, is the younger man by two years.

Mares has fought stiffer competition–having battled the likes of former world champions Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko, Anselmo Moreno, and Jhonny Gonzalez.

I have a feeling the more experienced Mares will win the fight by a razor-thin 12-round split decision.

Robert Guerrero, former welterweight world champion: Abner Mares SD 12 Leo Santa Cruz – This is a very tough fight to pick because both guys, when they are on top of their game, can beat anyone in their division.

With that being said, I’m leaning toward Abner Mares because I believe he’s got the better boxing skills.  Leo Santa Cruz brings a lot of pressure and that could be troublesome for Abner.  I’m picking Mares to win a close split decision.

Chris Algieri, former junior welterweight champion: Abner Mares SD 12 Leo Santa Cruz- I’m going with Abner Mares by a split-decision based on experience and better competition.

This is a big fight for both men. Leo Santa Cruz is going to fight tooth and nail to keep that “0,” and Mares always brings it and will scrap till the finish. Should be a fun fight to watch.

Mikey Garcia, former champion: Leo Santa Cruz SD 12 Abner Mares – I actually think this fight is a toss-up. It all depends on which fighter can make the fight go their way. What I mean by that is Abner Mares is probably a more technical fighter and has more skills. He can box and he can punch and he can brawl if has to.

But for this fight, Mares has to use his skills and stay on the outside, use his jab and his right hand. That way, he can pull of a decision. On the other hand, Leo Santa Cruz is a come-forward volume puncher. If he can get that game plan going and keep Mares on the ropes and in the corners, he’s going to be scoring points and get the victory that way.

I think that I’m going to have to side a little more with Santa Cruz, because I think that his pressure is very difficult for a fighter. I think that Santa Cruz, by a small edge, might be able to pull it off. I think that it will be Santa Cruz by a split-decision.

Gary Russell Sr., father and trainer of champion Gary Russell Jr.: Leo Santa Cruz SD 12 Abner Mares – Leo Santa Cruz is going to come straight forward and constantly apply pressure. Abner Mares is going to try to box, but I think that he’ll be taken out of his comfort zone because of Leo’s pressure. I think it will come down to a split-decision win for Leo Santa Cruz.
Miguel Diaz, trainer, cut man: Leo Santa Cruz KO 8 Abner Mares – I worked about six or seven fights as the cut man in the corner of Abner Mares, and I worked the corner of an opponent against Leo Santa Cruz. Based on that, I would go in favor of Santa Cruz, 60-40, or, 55-45.

I think that Santa Cruz has shown a great chin and what you need to be a champion, and the other guy, Mares was knocked out by Jhonny Gonzalez, who is a good puncher. I think it will be a knockout in the seventh or eighth round.

Bob Santos, assistant trainer, Robert Guerrero: Abner Mares W 12 Leo Santa Cruz- Wow this is a tough one.  Abner Mares is the better boxer and Leo Santa Cruz is the better puncher.  Santa Cruz has never tasted defeat and that will be a very difficult task to overcome for Abner. I always go with the better boxer in these situations so I’m picking Mares to win by decision, but it won’t be easy.
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