SANTA CRUZ CRUISES, MARES ROMPS! REMATCH ON TAP FOR EARLY 2018! by Rahmon Ford

santa cruz mares

Story:  Rahmon Ford:


StubHub Center – Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares each fought like they were on a mission Saturday afternoon.  While each combatant utilized a different game plan to achieve their mission, the destination was the same-  Santa Cruz/Mares II.

Santa Cruz, (34-1-1, 19 KOs), retained his WBA World featherweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs).  Scores at the time of stoppage were 69-64, 69-64, and 70-63.  All cards were in favor of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz begin to feel Avalos out in the first frame and landed a nice right hand.  In the next few rounds, Santa Cruz began to press the action, at times trying to make the fight rough in close instead of distance.

In the fourth, a left hook by Santa Cruz wobbled Avalos and Leo went in for the finish.  Santa Cruz was upset that the fight wasn’t stopped at that point, as Avalos survived until the bell.

Santa Cruz continued coming forward, and began to apply a body attack hoping to break Avalos down.  He found pay dirt in the eighth as referee Thomas Taylor stopped the assault at 1:34 into the round.

Scorecard

Santa Cruz on Avalos

“He did great, he was moving, but I saw little mistakes I can take advantage of,” said Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs), who upended Carl Frampton in a January rematch to regain his title. “Let’s bring on the rematch. He paces himself more, he doesn’t go wild, he doesn’t try to knock you out. More speed and movement.

“I think it’s going to be more easy for me. Fighters that create distance make it more easy.”

“I thought I had him in the fourth round.  I gassed out a little bit but I got my air back later. I thought the ref was going to jump in during that round but he let him continue.

Santa Cruz on Mares 

“I want Abner Mares. I said if we both win, we’re going to fight. I’m ready to fight him in Los Angeles in the beginning of next year.”

Chris Avalos

“I’m very upset with the stoppage. We were fighting the whole time. There was no reason to stop this fight. I wasn’t hurt like the referee thought. I want to fight for the title again.”

In the co-feature, Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) laid an absolute tallywacking on Andres Gutierrez (35-2-1, 25 KOs) over 10 rounds before referee Jack Reiss stepped in.  The official stoppage was due to a bad cut suffered by Gutierrez.   Mares was ahead 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90 at the time of stoppage.

Although speculation was the cut came from a clash of heads, a punch seemed to be the culprit in this affair.  I thought Gutierrez was going to bring more to the table in this fight.  Credit Mares with bringing his A-Game in this one.

Mares went on the attack early and blood began flowing from Gutierrez as early as the third.  Mares worked the jab and boxed in ways I didn’t imagine, for sure.

As with Santa Cruz, Mares landed a big shot in the fourth round that would’ve discouraged most fights.  However, Gutierrez was game as he came out in the next round, eating power shot after power shot.  Nevertheless, Gutierrez pressed forward as if Mares’s shots were kisses on his cheeks.

Mares continued to attack the eye, which by then was bleeding abundantly.   The referee had no choice but to stop it on the doctor’s advice.

Mares appears to be a completely different fighter under the tutelage of Robert Garcia.  He’s changed his style to the point where Santa Cruz may need to make adjustments in the rematch.  Leo knows what that takes as he did the same in a rematch with Carl Frampton.

Santa Cruz, who watched the fight:

“He did great, but I saw little mistakes that I can take advantage of … the rematch, I want it.”

“He won, he looked great. Hopefully, the fans liked how I did. Now that we both got these wins, I think people want to see the rematch.”

Scorecard

Abner Mares

“I told everyone that I was here to make a statement. I had a tough opponent and he showed how good he is. It took a lot of punches and a lot of big punches. It was just a matter of time before I stopped him.

“I thought they could have stopped it earlier. He’s a young guy who was too brave for his own good. I was happy with the decision. I deserved the stoppage but I’m happy I got the win.

“I’m a totally different fighter now since I started working with Robert Garcia. We’re going to keep showing that when we fight Leo Santa Cruz.”

Andres Gutierrez
 

“I didn’t feel like the fight should have been stopped. I was hurting him as much as he was hurting me. My cuts did not bother me.

“I want to fight him again or have another shot at the title. I was prepared to fight to the final bell.”

In other action, Antonio DeMarco won by  first-round TKO over an aggressive Eddie Ramirez.  DeMarco, with his back to the ropes caught Ramirez with a short counter uppercut.  Ramirez retreated all the way to the other side of the ring and DeMarco staggered Ramirez.

Ramirez stumbled and his head briefly went between the ropes but he got out just as quick and into defensive position.  Not quick enough for referee Gerard White as he stopped the fight at 1:56 into the opening round.

Ramirez thought the stoppage was premature and so did I.  Here’s a video below.  You be the judge.

ANTONIO DEMARCO

“I think it was a good decision from the referee. He was taking a lot of solid punches.

“I’m very thankful to Ramirez for taking the fight. I think big things are coming for me. I’m going to talk to my team and see what is next. I think this performance will erase a lot of doubts about me.

“I’m an experienced fighter and I stayed patient. I had great preparation and waited for the right moment. I feel great right now.”

EDDIE RAMIREZ
“That stoppage was way too early. I was not hurt. I was fighting back and I felt like I was recovering. I want an immediate rematch if possible.”
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WORLD CHAMPIONS MIKEY GARCIA AND ROBERT GUERRERO JOIN FOX SPORTS BROADCAST TEAM FOR PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: SANTA CRUZ VS. AVALOS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

Contact: John Stouffer Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017                                       john.stouffer@fox.com

WORLD CHAMPIONS MIKEY GARCIA AND ROBERT GUERRERO JOIN FOX SPORTS BROADCAST TEAM FOR PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: SANTA CRUZ VS. AVALOS
 
Guerrero Calls Fights with Sean Grande, Brian Kenny Hosts

Los Angeles – Today, FOX Sports announces multi-division and current 135-pound world champion Mikey Garcia (@mikeygarcia) and former multiple division world champion Robert Guerrero (@GHOSTBOXING) join the broadcast team as analysts for PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: SANTA CRUZ VS. AVALOS live on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Oct. 14 (7:30 PM ET), from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia and Guerrero team with blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) calling the fights. Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) hosts the broadcast.

On FOX Deportes, Jaime Motta (@MottaJaime) joins blow-by-blow announcer Jesse Losada to call the action in Spanish.

The sixth installment of PBC ON FOX and FOX Deportes is headlined by sensational three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs), who defends his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs). The co-main event features four-time world champion Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) defending his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs).

The television broadcast opens with an exciting 10-round match featuring undefeated rising junior welterweight contender Eddie Ramirez (17-0, 11 KOs) versus former world champion Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1, 23 KOs).

Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FOX or FOX Deportes feeds. The fight is available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, fights are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

For more, visit FOX Sports Press Pass, http://www.premierboxingchampions.com, http://www.ringstar.com, http://www.tgbpromotions.com, and http://www.foxdeportes.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @Ringstar, @TGBPromotions, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, http://www.facebook.com/foxsports, http://www.facebook.com/RingstarSports and http://www.facebook.com/foxdeportes.

-FOX SPORTS

Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos: Santa Cruz, Mares

Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes
Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos
 
 
Tripleheader Headlined Headlined by Santa Cruz vs. Avalos &
Mares vs. Gutierrez World Title Fights Saturday, October 14 from
StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
 
Click HERE for Photos from Erick Ramirez/Ringstar Sports
 

CARSON, CALIF. (October 12, 2017) – Fighters entering the ring for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes tripleheader event went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they compete at StubHub Center.

 

 

PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes is headlined by three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz defending his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos, while four-time world champion Abner Mares defends his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with unbeaten rising contender Eddie Ramirez taking on former world champion Antonio DeMarco.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com HERE.
 
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from Whiskey Red’s in Marina Del Ray:
 
LEO SANTA CRUZ
 

“I’m very happy to be in this position. I’m going to give a great show to the fans. There are a lot of great fighters here and we’re all going to try to put on the best performance of the night.

 

 

“I just want to give the fans a great fight. I’m going to bring the fight to Avalos and I hope he stays in there and looks to make it a war as well.

 

 
“I’m prepared, motivated and focused. I need to win on Saturday so that I can get the Mares rematch. That’s the fight that we want.
 

“I’m definitely not overlooking Avalos. I know that I have to fight a dangerous guy. He’s going to come to take my belt and he doesn’t care about any fight I want in the future.

 

 

“I hope that all my fans enjoy this fight because I’m going to give it my all. We worked really hard and trained really well for this fight. I have to take care of Avalos before I can worry about any other fights.

 

 

“I always prepare the same for my opponents. People have their opinions on each guy, but I respect all of my opponents the same.

 

 

“We’ve worked on versatility during training camp. You never know how an opponent is going to come out so I have to be ready to do anything and adjust in the ring.

 

 

“It’s important for me to give the fans in Southern California a great fight. These are the best fight fans and I always owe it to them to be at my best.

 

 
“This has been another very hard training camp for me and my team. No matter who the opponent is, we work hard every day and build each other up.”
 
CHRIS AVALOS
 

“It’s really a blessing to be here. I’m thankful to my team for giving me a strong, hard camp that has me very confident heading into this fight.

 

 
“This is a great card to be able to show my skills on. With so many high-level fighters, it’s a chance to do my best with the world watching.
 

“I’m happy Leo took this fight and gave me the opportunity to prove myself. I know that I still have a lot to give and this is exactly the chance I need to show everyone that.

 

 
“I’m very confident heading into this fight. Leo and I sparred a lot when we were amateurs. I’m going to take that experience and use it to my advantage on Saturday.
 
“I’m going to come to fight and I’m going to come to win. I’m sure Leo will as well. It’s going to be an exciting fight from start to finish.”
 
ABNER MARES
 

“I’m really happy to be in this position. I’m fighting a great competitor. He’s a hungry kid who has the opportunity of his lifetime. He’s going to take advantage of it

 

 

“I trained really hard. There were no shortcuts. It was hard training every day. Fighters like Gutierrez are the most difficult because they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

 

 

“It feels great to be back in this position fighting in what is basically my hometown. Everyone knows that StubHub Center is the ‘War Grounds.’ After Saturday night, I’m anticipating that everyone will go home happy.

 

 

“I can’t wait to get back in that ring. I want to give the fans a great show and make sure they leave satisfied. I’m really excited to take in the atmosphere before I enter the ring and go to work.

 

 

“The game plan always changes depending on the opponent, but I’m also ready to adjust during the fight. I have to stay focused and ready. In the end I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.

 

 

“Robert Garcia has taught me a lot and he’s brought some extra things out of me. I’ve looked great in sparring, but now it’s time for me to bring it into the ring.

 

 

“I definitely see some of myself Gutierrez. I was once the young fighter looking to upset the established veteran. That’s why I’ve trained for this fight like I’m facing any of the champions or top fighters. I know that it’s a tough fight and I’ll be ready.

 

 

“I think this fight will make me better. I like to entertain and I’m going to give you a really good show on Saturday.

 

 
ANDRES GUTIERREZ
 

“I’m honored to be here and give the fans a great fight on Saturday. What happened before the Frampton fight is behind me. I’m prepared and I feel very strong.

 

 

“I know that Abner is the highest level fighter that you can face. I have to be at my very best to win a world title. That’s the kind of challenge that I want and I’ll be ready for anything.

 

 

“I hope that Abner is not underestimating me. I want him to be at his very best so that when I win. My plan is to go in there and fight hard until the fight is over and show everyone how I compete.

 

 
“There’s no quit in my body. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point of my career. I’m going to absolutely give it everything I have and then some.
 

“I want to give everyone a great fight. I’m ready for a war. I’m excited to put on a spectacular performance.”

 

 
EDDIE RAMIREZ
 

“I had a great training camp and I’ve put all the hard work in. I stay in the gym so I’m always ready for an opportunity like this.

 

 

“My team is really important to me and they get a lot of the credit for getting me to where I am. We work hard and push each other every day in the gym.

 

 

“I get better every single time I get in the ring. This is going to be another learning experience for me as I get to where I want to go in my career. This is still only the beginning.

 

 

“Fights like these are ones that all champions have to go through before they reach the top level. It’s important to win, but also to impress when I’m in the ring.

 

 

“DeMarco is a guy with a lot of experience so I know that he thinks he has that advantage over me. All I can do is be at my best. I’m confident that my youth, speed and power will be the difference in the end.

 

 

“I can’t wait to showcase myself this Saturday and I hope to see everyone there. DeMarco is fighting for his career so I know that he is going to come prepared and put on a great fight.

 

 
ANTONIO DEMARCO
 

“I want to thank everyone for being here and I’m thankful to be on this stage. This is another great experience for me in my career and one that I’m not going to take lightly.

 

 

“I also want to thank Eddie Ramirez for putting in the work and accepting this fight. I know that he will come prepared to give the fans a great show.

 

 

“It’s a blessing to be on a card of this magnitude. With guys like Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, I can’t stress how blessed I feel. I can’t wait to get in the ring.

 

 

“I have put myself through a terrific training camp for what I hope will be a great fight. I’m ready to prove to myself. I want to show the fans that when things get difficult, you can still overcome and come out victorious.”

 

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Leo Santa Cruz vs Chris Avalos and Abner Mares vs Andres Gutierrez Predictions! by Rahmon Ford

santa cruz mares

Story by: Rahmon Ford

This Saturday afternoon at StubHub Center in Carson, California, an interesting double header will take place featuring favorites Leo Santa and Abner Mares. A win by both will set up a grudge rematch between the two combatants.  The first fight ended as a majority decision win for Santa Cruz (117-111, 117-111, and 114-114).  I agree with the first two scores, as the draw was more than a stretch.

Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) takes on Chris Avalos (27-5). At stake is Santa Cruz’s WBA World super featherweight title.

Avalos

In order for Avalos to lift the title from Santa Cruz, he’s going to have to somehow get the jab working early and try to stay on the inside of Santa Cruz’s punches. He likes to mix it up and if he does, the close quarters will most likely be his domain as he needs to make it a rough and tumble fight.  Sometimes Santa Cruz gives up his height and allows opponents the inside advantage.

If I’m Avalos I look to be the counter-puncher in this matchup. Although Avalos is a relentless puncher, Santa Cruz is too, and with more speed. Avalos should use his toolbox of punches, as he throws a solid range of combinations.  Santa Cruz can be hit.

If he can get Santa Cruz to go backwards or at least be on his back foot, Avalos has a chance to do good work in this fight. If not, he needs to look for the counter hook.

Avalos needs to try to control the tempo of the fight as Frampton did in the first tussle with Santa Cruz. If he can double jab to the body to set up his explosive shots, he may fight pay dirt.

Santa Cruz

If Santa Cruz wants a second fight with Mares, he needs to dictate the pace against Avalos. Santa Cruz can apply pressure and throw tons of punches, yet not get into a firefight with Avalos.

He can do it by keeping Avalos at the end of his punches. Santa Cruz also needs to move forward consistently in this fight, behind a jab.  As well as he did against Frampton in the rematch, I’d like to see the Santa Cruz of old prior to his two fights with Irishman.

Santa Cruz is accurate with his punches and I believe the jab is a crucial key to success for him in this fight.

Santa Cruz has fast hands and throws at a high volume. He can move you were he wants at times with his pressure and can mix to the body and head.

Prediction:

I’d like to see a less aggressive Avalos, at least early on. I think he can buy some time and figure things out by countering Santa Cruz.

However, what I’d like to see and what Avalos does are two different things. I believe he’ll get aggressive and when he does, Leo is going to time him and take him out.

Leo Santa Cruz TKO between the 5th and 8th  rounds

 

Abner Mares (30-2-1) defends against Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1) for Mares’ WBA World featherweight title.

Gutierrez

For Gutierrez to win I think he has to come out fast and take it to Mares. I’m not quite sure what Mares has left, which may sound like premature thought.  However, Mares has had eye injuries in the past, including a career-threatening detached retina.  He also failed a couple of eye exams, initially forcing the cancellation of his fight with Jesus Cuellar.

I’d like to see an attack to the body, but (and I don’t mean to sound cruel) he needs to go after the eye.

Gutierrez must look to overwhelm Mares and make it as uncomfortable in there for Mares as humanly possible by attacking Mares body mercifully. Mares on the flip side will have to use his big fight experience and dig into his bag of tricks and beat Gutierrez to the punch right off the jump. I’m taking Abner Mares by clear unanimous decision with some close hard to score rounds.

Gutierrez has a fantastic record, but the level of competition pails when compared to Mares. This is his opportunity and he should go for it.

If Gutierrez’s name sounds familiar, he’s the guy who was supposed to fight Carl Frampton earlier this year. Frampton missed weight and then Gutierrez fell in the shower. The result was deep gash on his chin, his nose, and he lost two teeth. See pictures below:

 

 

I think Gutierrez should play speed chess. He should attack Mares, but not brawl. Gutierrez has an excellent variety of punches. I love his jab. I love his left hook to the body and head in one quick motion.

He has a Manny Pacquiao type of guard where he has hands high and he bobs his head side to side. While it may be able to be timed at points in the fight, it gives Mares something to think about.

Mares

Abner Mares likes to pressure an opponent and try to take his will from him. He hits you to the head and goes downstairs to wear your body down. Sometimes south of the border. He’s rarely in a boring fight and I think this one steals the show.

Mares covets a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz and if he has anything left, he can thank his change in trainers to Robert Garcia who had him box well in his last win against Cuellar.

The key to Mares is to be the bully and make Gutierrez go backwards. If he does this, I like his chances. He should also use his experience and home advantage as Gutierrez hasn’t been in with big names outside of his lone loss.

I see Gutierrez moving, but not like Canelo against Golovkin. I see Chocolatito types of moves in there and Mares is going to attack his body to slow him down.

Prediction:

I think Gutierrez is coming to party on Saturday night. Mares is so focused on the Santa Cruz rematch that I think he may be there for the taking. Mares will win rounds simply by aggression, based on fighting at home in California for the tenth time as a pro.

While Mares has the experience and home crowd, I think Gutierrez has wrong style for him.

I’m calling the upset here!

Gutierrez by split decision

Leo Santa Cruz Defends Title Against Chris Avalos; Abner Mares Takes On Andres Gutierrez in Title Match as Pair of Featherweight Showdowns Set the Stage for Santa Cruz vs. Mares Rematch

Presented by Premier Boxing Champions Live On FOX &
FOX Deportes from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., On
Saturday, October 14
 
Tickets on Sale Now!
 
CARSON, CALIF. (August 30, 2017) – Sensational three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz will defend his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos, while four-time world champion Abner Mares defends his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on a show presented by Premier Boxing Champions live on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, October 14. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
 
If Santa Cruz and Mares win their respective matches, they have both agreed to terms to meet in a highly anticipated rematch for the WBA featherweight title in early 2018.  Santa Cruz won a hard-fought, narrow decision against Mares in a 2015 Fight of the Year candidate that saw the two men go toe-to-toe for 12 fast-paced rounds and combine for over 2,000 punches thrown.  
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com HERE.
 
“Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares are two of the best featherweight champions in boxing and to have them both fighting on the same card is a treat for boxing fans,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Against Avalos, Santa Cruz will have the opportunity to demonstrate why he’s considered one of the most skilled and durable fighters in the division and in his first defense since winning the title Mares can expect a rugged challenge from Gutierrez, who has only lost once in his career and by a close decision.”
 
“This is going to be a jam-packed afternoon of can’t-miss action for boxing fans in Southern California,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “StubHub Center brings out the best in fighters and I expect that to continue when Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares defend their titles against two hungry challengers in Chris Avalos and Andres Gutierrez. Ringstar Sports, along with TGB Promotions, are looking forward to putting together an exciting card full of future stars and compelling bouts for the great fans at StubHub Center and watching on FOX and FOX Deportes.”
 
Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) established himself as one of the top featherweights in the world in matches against Mares and Carl Frampton. Cruz lost a close decision to Frampton in 2016 and avenged the loss with a decision victory on Jan. 28 in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 33 pro fights on his way to world titles at 118, 122 and 126-pounds. With a victory over Avalos, Santa Cruz, who fights out of Los Angeles, will cement his hold on featherweight supremacy and stay on the path to that showdown with Mares.
 
“I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Santa Cruz. “I’ve been working hard in camp and it’s great to be back in the gym. Chris Avalos is a tough contender who’s fought the best in the division. I love my fans and I’m planning on giving them a great show. I never overlook any opponent, but my plan is to put on a great performance, and then give fans more exciting fights against Abner Mares and Carl Frampton. I’m ready to prove I’m the best featherweight in the world.
 
Fighting out of Lancaster, California, Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs) will be vying for a featherweight title for the first time. He came up short in his other world championship bout, losing the 122-pound world championship Carl Frampton via knockout in 2015. In his most recent bout, Avalos scored a TKO victory over Miguel Flores when the fight was stopped on cuts in the fifth round on July 18 in the main event on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
 

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