Los Angeles 6/9/2018- After a long buildup to their long awaited rematch, local featherweights, WBA champion, Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1-19K) faced his homie, Abner Mares (31-3-1-15K). Not since the Bobby Chacon-Danny Lopez days has there been a fight of this magnitude in the 126 class. The hometown crowd was moist with anticipation for this one, (especially after last night’s semi, but later for that). But how often does the sequel outdo the original? Not often, there’s only so many Israel Vasquez-Rafael Marquez wars to go around and they did it THREE times, each outdoing the other. Maybe Santa Cruz and Mares remembered that trilogy.
Tonight’s rematch, while a goody, wasn’t a ‘great’ fight. There were sporadic fire fights but not as many or as sustained as the first time around. One difference was Santa Cruz fought a more measured, distanced fight against the shorter Mares. Also, this time, Abner had outstanding Oxnard trainer, Robert Garcia, helming his corner. One constant was, Abner still had the better hairdo and facial hair.
None of this mattered though, as the taller, rangier, hypnotizing you glove shaker, Santa Cruz was in total control in an action fight with moments of suspense. There were no back and forth exchanges that had either guy on the mat or even CLOSE to it but it was an entertaining scrap. When he was able to check Santa Cruz’s range, Mares wasn’t able to do any real damage. In the eighth, Leo was slightly cut over the left eye which wasn’t an issue at all. These two guys are among the good guys in tha’ game, not much smack talking and WHEN they do it, seems outta’ character. Just grab the lunch pails and get in the Lambo and head off to work, no muss, no fuss. Mares seemed to tire a bit around the ninth round as Leo peppered him from out side. After the fight, the two ‘real’ pros, had nothing but good things to say about each other. I’m surprised they’re able to fight each other as hard as they do. This will probably end up like a buddy-buddy thing like Ward and Gatti, which isn’t a bad thing. Mares yelled, “LA, yall wanna’ see this again, Santa Cruz, Mares3”? No, sorry Lil Abner, this isn’t one of those ‘do it ‘til you get it right’, deals. Maybe Leo’ll call you since he surely has your number. Btw, he called out Gary Russell last night, psssst, Leo, that’s JoJo Diaz on your phone, better take the call. The cards read 115-113/116-112 and117-111 for Leo. 117-111 ??????????
To all promoters, don’t put two stylish Black fighters on the same card as some little fast, busy Latinos, NOT a good idea. In the semi, unbeaten WBC Jr. middleweight champ (30-0-15K) faced long time vet, Austin (No Doubt) Trout (31-4-17K) in a fight for Charlo’s belt. This was a strategic affair, (TOO much so) with the strong, heavy-handed champ stalking the gatekeeper. Trying to keep his 7 bout ko streak intact, Charlo was missing wildly on several occasions. He at times looked like Deontay Wilder going for the kill, letting Doubt off the hook. There were three questionable knockdowns, all scored by the champ. After eating a few shots early on, Trout hung out the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign and just pretty much stayed outta’ harm’s way. Trout says “take away the knockdowns) and I won the fight. That’s what Patterson said when Johanssen dropped HIS ass SEVEN times in the third round. Trout is like Riggundeau (sp) and Lara , they can make you look for the air freshener at times. Somehow, one judge had the fight a draw (must’ve been Adalaide Byrd (lol), while the others had it 115-111 and 118-108 for Charlo. 118-108 was a bit much as well. So now, the shit talking Charlo (runs in the family) wants the hard punching, punch eating robot, Jarrett Hurd. I can see people getting dropped in this one, multiple times, in fact.
It’s been a couple of days now and I wonder if shit talking Jeff Horn has landed a clean shot on the Terror , Terrence (Bud ) Crawford. In the highlights I’ve seen, Crawford beat the kangaroo piss outta’ the Aussie champion and relieved him of his belt in the process. No one expected Horn to have that belt long, anyway. They should’ve had it engraved, ‘ON LOAN TO JEFF HORN’.