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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

LEO SANTA CRUZ OUTLASTS ABNER MARES IN A CLASSIC BRAWL

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
30 Aug 2015



If I was not distracted by the bright lights inside the Staples Center in downtown LA and the cheers from more than 13,000 predominantly Latino boxing fans that almost filled out the venue, I can easily imagine tonight I run into an honest to goodness street brawl behind some alley along Whittier Boulevard in East LA.

Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KO) and his challenger, the ex-Mexican Olympian and former three division champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15KO) fought as if they were in some alley defending their gangland turf.

Santa Cruz and Mares were former spar mates who ended up being top rivals as well. Being both from the LA area made the rivalry even more intense thus their fight tonight was dubbed by many as the “Battle for LA”.

The 12 round fight was exactly how the spin makers said it would be from the time the first bell sounded. It can be best described as a battle of attrition with back and forth non-stop action. Honestly, it left the fans exhausted and drained but terribly satisfied on what the two great Mexican fighters showed during the whole duration of the fight.

As a guy seated behind our auxiliary media section said “this is what fights should be not like the sham put up by Mayweather and Pacquiao. You can quote me on that," he added, obviously knowing that we were from the press.

Indeed it was and I could not agree more.



Santa Cruz at the start had a very difficult time trying to decipher Mares who came out swinging as the first bell sounded. Mares crowded Santa Cruz and kept the fight inside trying to avoid allowing Santa Cruz to box him. The Mares barrage forced Santa Cruz to be patient and wait for openings so he can throw his counters. But he was not shy to exchange when Mares elected to brawl often drawing the fans to their feet.

A clash of heads opened a cut in round 3 on Mares’ eyebrow. Although it occasionally bled, it was a none factor in the final outcome of the fight.

As the fight progress, Santa Cruz finally found his range and started throwing his jabs effectively but brawl inside when he needed to.

Mares stuck to his fight plan, swarming Santa Cruz hoping to land a lucky punch from the inside. But, Santa Cruz had an answer for him almost every time particularly as the fight progressed to the championship rounds.

In the end, Santa Cruz turned out to be the better fighter for the night and he clearly deserved the victory. With his win, he won the fringe WBA Super Featherweight Belt

From my point of view the fight was a bit more closer than the two 117-111 scores.

But certainly, the 114-114 score turned in by Max de Luca was out of synch.


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