Leo Santa Cruz Meets the Press

By Robert Ecksel on August 20, 2015
Leo Santa Cruz Meets the Press
“In my mind this is a fight of the year. We're both Mexican street fighters.” (Craig Bennett)

“Abner is going to come forward and if he wants to stand and trade, I will be willing to oblige and go toe-to-toe…”

On Saturday, August 29, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, former WBC World super bantamweight champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs) from Rosemead, California, by way of Huetamo, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, meets former IBF World bantamweight featherweight champion Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs), from Montebello, California, by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, for the vacant WBC Diamond featherweight title.

The fight will be televised live on ESPN starting at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

In anticipation of the fight, Santa Cruz met with the press via teleconference call. He has come a long way in a short time and is ready for what Mares brings.
“This is the biggest fight in my career,” said Santa Cruz. “It’s the first time I’m the main event. It’s the first time I’m going to fight a fighter that’s on a big level. Like the fans said, they wanted me to fight a fighter that is at the elite level fighter, and I think Mares right now is the hardest opponent I ever faced.”

Santa Cruz and Mares never take a step back. Both fighters can be hit. Some members of the press are calling this a candidate for fight of the year, as are the two fighters.

“In my mind this is a fight of the year,” Santa Cruz said, “because we’re both Mexican street fighters, we come forward, trying to please the fans. I see this fight like almost a 50/50. It could go either way because he’s a good fighter, I’m a good fighter, so I think it’s going to be great.”

Santa Cruz plans on beating Mares and “go after world title at 126. I want to prove to everyone that I am worthy and am in the upper echelon in the featherweight division. Abner Mares is a natural featherweight right now and he’s a great fighter and can do everything. So, getting a victory against him is going to put me on the big level, it’s going to put me to the next level and show that I’m ready for the rest of the fighters in the division.”

The KO Mares suffered at the hands of Johnny Gonzalez looms large as the fight approaches.

“All that’s going to go out the window come August 29th,” said Santa Cruz. “Abner is going to come forward and if he wants to stand and trade, I will be willing to oblige and go toe-to-toe.”

Santa Cruz and Mares have history. Not only are they both Mexican street fighters, they have sparred in the past.

“It’s been like six, seven years since we fought in sparring. He has changed a lot. I have changed a lot too. We’re going to come out in the first round and try to use our game plan. If it’s not working, we’re going to change the plan to what we’re working on in the gym with my dad. But we have the plan and once we’re up there, we’re going to know how to fight and get the victory.

“The sooner the fight ends, the better for one of us. Less punishment, less hits. But if the stoppage didn’t come, we’d just be happy with the victory. We’re going to go out there, beat Mares any way we can get the win, that’s what’s more important.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:22am, 08/20/2015

    Same physical type as Margarito….punches land with a thud….Abner’s punches should get there first…..ahhhh…. but does Mares hit hard enough? Based on his last outing Frampton would be in deep with either but especially with Leo.

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