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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FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONS LEO SANTA CRUZ & ABNER MARES SCORE VICTORIES TO SET UP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH IN 2018

santa cruz mares
Santa Cruz Stops Chris Avalos in Round Eight & Abner Mares Earns Technical Decision over Andres Gutierrez in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Action from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
 
Former Champion Antonio DeMarco Shocks Previously Unbeaten Eddie Ramirez By Controversial First Round Stoppage
 
Click HERE for Photos from Andy Samuelson/
Premier Boxing Champions

Scorecard

Santa Cruz KO 8 Avalos

CARSON, CALIF. (October 14, 2017) – Featherweight world champions Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares were both victorious in their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes fights Saturday night from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and officially set up a world championship rematch between the two popular southern California champions in early 2018.

“I want Abner Mares,” said Santa Cruz. “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.”

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

In the main event, Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) took care of business and defended his title by stopping Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs) in the eighth round.

“He was very tough and I was fighting the wrong fight,” said Santa Cruz. “I wanted to please the fans and give them a brawl. Once my dad told me how I could stop him easily, I boxed him more and got the stoppage.”

Santa Cruz used his length effectively and set up his jab while firing straight right hands to Avalos’ head. Avalos stayed tough, but was in trouble in round four when Santa Cruz connected with a left hook that stunned Avalos in the corner.

Avalos originally retreated but as Santa Cruz came forward he was forced to brawl through the remainder of the round and took a great deal of punishment. Always game, Avalos continued to fight back and landed punches as Santa Cruz attempted to walk down his opponent.

“I thought I had him in the fourth round,” said Santa Cruz. “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.”

Finally, in the eighth round, after several more flurries of punishment, referee Thomas Taylor jumped in and stopped the bout 1:34 into the round. Although he was out landed 282-169, Avalos believed he could have continued in the fight.

“I’m very upset with the stoppage,” said Avalos. “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.”

The co-main event saw Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs)make the first defense of his title by wearing down and eventually earning a technical decision over Andres Gutierrez (35-2-1, 25 KOs).

Referee Jack Reiss called on the advice of the ringside physician midway through the 10th round, who determined that Gutierrez was unable to continue due to a cut. Although the cut was originally opened by a punch, the commission determined that a series of accidental fouls caused the cut to worsen to the point that the fight was ended, and a final verdict would be decided by the scorecards.

Mares was sharp from the outset, using the jab to get to Gutierrez and teeing off with combinations. The right hand was a weapon all night long and in the second round he connected with the shot that opened up the cut under Gutierrez’s left eye.

“I told everyone that I was here to make a statement,” said Mares. “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.”

Gutierrez continued to put up a strong effort and never stopped throwing punches, using his jab to try to keep Mares at bay. However, as the cut worsened throughout the fight, Mares had an easier time landing thudding right hands to Gutierrez’s face.

“I didn’t feel like the fight should have been stopped,” said Gutierrez. “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.” Continue reading

WEIGHTS FROM BROOKLYN!

flier

The weights are in for the super welterweight (junior middleweight) card in Brooklyn tomorrow night.

All three fights are World title fights and today’s weights are as follows:

Erislandy Lara 153.6, Terrell Gausha 153.2
(for Lara’s WBA World junior middleweight title)

Jermell Charlo 153.6, Erickson Lubin 153.4
(for Charlo’s WBC junior middleweight title)

Jarrett Hurd 153.4, Austin Trout 153
(for Hurd’s IBF junior middleweight title)

 

The televised fight card will begin at 10:00pm eastern on Showtime.

Earlier on Fox, at 7:30pm eastern, check out Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares in separate title bouts.

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.”

 

Continue reading

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

[VIDEO] Leo Santa Cruz vs. Chris Avalos & Abner Mares vs. Andres Gutierrez PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes Media Conference Call

santa cruz mares

 

 

Richard Schaefer
Hello, everybody. Welcome to today’s media call.
 
I’m really excited that we have a little over a week to go until this great doubleheader at the war grounds at StubHub Center in Carson, California. We all know that fights there always deliver.
 
Somehow it always brings out the best in fighters. The atmosphere is just one of a kind. I can report that ticket sales are very strong. They have been very brisk and actually some of the price categories were sold out. We’re trying to put some more 30 and 50 dollars for sale, so I anticipate a big crowd at StubHub Center on Saturday, October 14 for a huge night of world championship boxing.
 
Two world championship fights with Leo Santa Cruz versus Chris Avalos, and Abner Mares versus Andres Gutierrez. The Premier Boxing Champions card will be on FOX, network FOX, and FOX Deportes. Live coverage will be starting at 7:30 pm ET and 4:30 pm PT.
 
The doors will open at 12:30. The first fight will be shortly after. We’re going to have a big night of fights in Carson, 12 fights in all.
 
It’s going to be a very exciting undercard as well, the non-televised portion. We have among them, two Olympians, A Mexican Olympian who came home with bronze medal for Mexico, as Misael Rodriguez will be fighting his fourth fight. He’s 3-0 with two knockouts.  
 
He’s trained by Robert Garcia. And then we have Eimantas Stanionis, who is quickly developing a huge following here in Los Angeles and he’s training at the Wild Card with Freddie Roach. He will have his fourth fight as well. He has three wins, three knockouts at the welterweight division. We have more experienced guys as well like Robert Marroquin and Ivan Redkach on the card, so a little bit of everything. We have two kids from Oak Hill, California, Jerry Perez and Jose Perez early on in their career showcasing their talent.
 
So, be sure you tell your readers or listeners to come out early and to be part of a great Saturday afternoon and evening at StubHub Center. The weather is beautiful here now in California this time of the year, so really excited to see you all there.
 
I’d like to thank as well Tom Brown and Brittany Goossen-Brown of TGB Promotions for this co-promotion again. And I understand Tom is not on the call, but I’m sure we’re all going to see him during fight week.
 
The first fight of the televised card is going to be Eddie Ramirez against Antonio DeMarco. We all know Antonio DeMarco from Tijuana is a guy who always comes to fight. One of those guys who is never in a bad fight.
 
He is looking to give a stern test to an undefeated fighter, Eddie Ramirez, with a 17-0 record with 11 knockouts in the super lightweight division. So, I think that’s going to be a very exciting fight and I think it’s going to really show us all where Eddie Ramirez is in this particular point in his career. We know that Antonio DeMarco will certainly come to fight.
 
Next up is going to be the world championship fight between one of the most legendary and biggest names in the sport, multi-division, multi-time world champion, Abner Mares versus Andres Gutierrez. Andres Gutierrez joins us from Guadalajara, Mexico. He has a record of 35 wins, one loss, one draw and 25 knockouts.
 
He was actually supposed to fight earlier this year in a title eliminator against Carl Frampton. He looked very strong, it looked great and then he had the freak accident in the shower, I understand, over there in Ireland and he couldn’t fight. He suffered severe cuts.
 
But he is ready to go. And he gets another bite at the apple as they say. He was supposed to fight Frampton, one of the big names at the 126-pound weight class and that didn’t happen.
 
Now he has a chance to go with an even bigger name, Abner Mares, here in Los Angeles. And this all Mexican showdown, this all Guadalajara showdown, actually, is surely going to light fireworks. I’d like to introduce to you now, Andres Gutierrez.
 
Andres Gutierrez
I am ready, I’m very focused, excited down here in Guadalajara. My training camp is going well and I’m extremely motivated. All right.
 
R. Schaefer
It is always a pleasure — a special pleasure, frankly an honour – form me to introduce one of my closest friends in this sport. An amazing champion inside the ring and an amazing father, husband and human being outside of the ring. A fighter I have known since actually before he went to the Olympics in 2004 where he represented the Mexican Olympian team.
 
He obviously came and conquered the professional world, facing some of the best 118, 122 and 126-pound champions over the years. He is born in Guadalajara as well and trains in California with famed trainer Robert Garcia who really, I think that Robert Garcia and Abner Mares make the perfect team. I think Abner Mares most recently dropped Jesus Cuellar in a hard fought victory last December for the WBA Featherweight title.
 
We saw the game plan Robert and Abner put together and how Abner executed against this fantastic game plan. I think they make an unbeatable team. Abner Mares is here to stay and has great fights ahead of him. But, first comes first, he knows that the Gutierrez is a tough customer and has only one loss, is a good puncher as well. It’s going to be fireworks. And it’s a pleasure now for me to introduce to you, Abner Mares.
 
Abner Mares      
Richard, everybody on the line, thank you so much for having me on. I’m really honoured and happy to be fighting on this card. I’m fighting once again in, you can say my hometown, Los Angeles.
 
I always showcase great fights here at StubHub Center in Carson, California. I’m looking forward to showcasing once again alongside Robert Garcia, the new Abner. I know every fighter always says that, but I think I’ve proven it. I approved it against Cuellar in my last fight in December and I will once again against Andres Gutierrez come October 14.
 
Richard, a close friend of mine, thank you so much and I’m excited to have my second fight promoted by Ringstar Sports. My first fight was with Cuellar and now second fight, so I’m looking forward to that.
 
Everybody in my camp from Robert Garcia all the way through, thank you everybody so much. I’ve been waiting for this.
 
Robert Garcia     
Like Abner said, or like Richard said, we make a really good team together with myself and my family.
 
Everything that’s working is working really good. Training has gone great, sparring is beautiful. We have great sparring partners, young, hungry kids that want to prove themselves against Abner. And Abner is doing his work being able to control those young contenders that want to get in there and hurt him.
 
Abner’s been able to do it all. Things have gone great. We’re waiting for a good fight. We know Gutierrez is a young kid that is hungry for this title opportunity. So, we know we’re going in there against a hungry, young fighter that wants to become a world champion.
 
That’s why we have to be very well prepared and come October 14, now we’re going to prove what we’ve done in the gym and bring it to the ring.
 
Q
When you started to lay the groundwork for this training camp, were you trying to put a game plan in and prepare for the rematch with Santa Cruz and then a little surprise and things change? Or, can you just take me through when you realized that it would not be the rematch next?
 
R. Garcia             
Look, we were training for Leo Santa Cruz and we started training camp early, like three, four months ago we were already in the gym and preparing for Leo Santa Cruz so that’s what we were expecting. But, then when the news came that, that we had to fight somebody else, we wouldn’t stop. We continued training, we continued sparring the same way we were sparring. We didn’t do many changes.
 
I added a couple of kids to sparring, two kids. A couple that were already getting Abner ready for Leo, which, you know are a little big taller than Abner and fight a little similar to Leo, but I kept them because we’re not looking past Gutierrez because he a hungry kid that’s coming to become a world champion. I want to continue doing the work that I’m doing.
 
So, if everything goes well on the 14th, by the time we fight Leo we get another four, five, six months, whatever it takes of preparing for Leo because Leo’s not an easy kid to beat. So, we got to start preparing to beat Leo like we were. Things happen for a reason. The fight was postponed until next year. But that just gives me what is it four, five, six months more of training Abner to be able to beat Leo.
 
Q
Is that a good thing to have more time to train with Robert to prepare for trying to get revenge on one of your losses?
 
A. Mares
You know what, that’s the way I look at it. At first, I’m not going to lie, and most people know I felt upset. I felt a little irritated that I wasn’t getting that fight.
 
Because at first it was solid, but at the same time, things happen for a reason, like Robert said. But, it gives us that much time to get ready even more for the Leo Santa Cruz fight. But, again we’re not looking past Gutierrez, he’s a great fighter, he’s a hungry kid, I’m not that old and people make me sound old, but I’m not.
 
But, I remember when I was that age, 26, and I got my opportunity for a world title. So, I can imagine how happy he is and really looking forward to this fight. But, again I’m no push over, I’m in my prime, I’m in my movement, I’m strong, I feel great.
 
I already said I’ve been doing really, really good in spar sessions. I really look forward to just making a statement that we are here to stay.
 
Q
You’re the one with the tougher fight, it seems between you and Leo. Can you give me your thoughts about being put in that position when you’re supposed to be getting ready to fight the rematch?
 
A. Mares             
You can put me in the first fight, second fight, last fight. It doesn’t matter, there’s no such thing as, I mean obviously there is, a main event, but people know which one is the best fight out there. So, I think people are going to go watch both of us, obviously, see how we look. But I do feel like I got the tougher opponent, but you know we are planning to make it seem like it’s a showcase but it’s a good fight. But I’m not looking at his opponent, I’m focused on mine, he’s focused on his opponent. At the end of the day I just want to perform, look great and get ready for not just Leo but any fight that’s going to happen.
 
Q
Richard, could you speak to your challenges in promoting a double header of probably will be action fights, but it’s not the rematch. So, some people perceive it as, “Oh, it’s a good card”. But it’s not what they thought it would be, which is the rematch between Abner and Leo?
 
R. Schaefer
Well, it certainly has been a bit of a challenge because the people are really excited to see these two, Abner and Leo, fight each other again. But I have to say this fight here, “The Jaguar” against Abner, this is a real fight.
 
This is not a soft touch. This is not, like, a tune up and Abner knows that and they know as well that the Jaguar is going to be coming to take what is his, what is Abner’s, that world title. So, this is by no stretch of the imagination, anything even remotely close to a tune up.
 
This is a real fight. And it will be real action fight because both guys are, I think, stylistically very made for each other. So, I think it will be a great fight. And I think fight fans, true fight fans, the Hispanic fight fans, the Mexicans and the others, they know that this is a real fight and that’s why I think they will come and they will support Abner.
 
Everybody has something to look forward to for the early part of next year. I’ve been told by the fighters and their management teams that a deal structure is in place. Assuming everything goes well, that they will fight each other March of next year here in Los Angeles.
 
Q
Were you going to fight on this card even if there was no assurance that a Santa Cruz rematch was coming, or was it important to know that the next fight would in fact be a rematch?
 
A. Mares             
Mothing’s for sure in boxing, to be honest. I’m just looking forward to getting in the ring. I got Gutierrez now. That’s the guy I’m fighting, that’s the guy I’m focused on. So, I’ve been saying, if it’s not Leo the next fight, even though they saying it is, it might be 90 percent, I want Frampton too.
 
And if not Frampton, I want Oscar Valdez, if it’s not Oscar Valdez, any world champion out there. So, we’re not just looking at Leo now because we’ve been through that. So, that was a good question you’re asking, so my answer is I just want any champion, but obviously there’s a key and the fighter to fight will be Leo after Gutierrez.
 
R. Schaefer         
I can just add to that as well. I agree with Abner. Abner is one of the most legendary and biggest names coming out of Mexico in the sport period. So, Abner Mares is not going to be sitting around and waiting around and waiting around for anybody, and I really mean anybody.
 
The fact is the 126-weight class is pretty deep and as a matter of fact, I talked to Frank Warren earlier this week as well. And I know that Abner would be absolutely open to a Frampton fight because that’s what he told me. But, you know first thing’s first.
 
This is not, as I said, this is not a tune up and we don’t want to give it away, but once this fight is over and everything goes well, then I will very quickly sit down with Abner and his team to map out, okay, can we get Leo, yes or no? Obviously, that’s what we want and if we can’t then, you know, we move on.
 
Q
They said you’re not going to sit around and wait for anyone. But this is only your second fight in almost two years. How frustrating has that been for you?
 
A. Mares             
It is, and it isn’t. I think timing is the best thing and being realistic. To be 31 and to be learning so much right now with Robert Garcia, it’s just amazing.
 
Not too many people could say that, at this age they’re still learning and doing things that you never thought I could have done. it’s just excitement to showcase them now on a final fight.
 
So, going in again with Gutierrez, we plan on doing like we did with Cuellar and move forward. So like I said, it is, and it isn’t. Here’s how I look at it, obviously this is my Christmas list.
 
If I get Frampton over Leo next on the list, any order, Leo, Frampton, Gary Russell Jr., Oscar Valdez and if I could make it jump to 130 and if you’re still there Gervonta Davis. I’ll fight them. That’s four or five fights that could totally be my career right there.
 
So, I’m putting a number on my career because you got to think of the future, so that’s the way I see it.
 
 
Q
How has training camp gone and how do you feel leading up to fight night?
 
A. Gutierrez
I feel great. This is an unbelievable moment in my career. I’m very much deep in training in Guadalajara very excited for this matchup and working with Alfredo Guzman and we’re ready to go to the United States and make our journey there.
 
Q
Can you tell me what is the most difficult part of facing somebody like Gutierrez who has nothing to lose and everything to win?
 
A. Mares             
I’ve been there, I know how he feels, so I work with that. I don’t feel like I’m no pushover, so it’s just excitement to be fighting someone good and at the end of the day I’m going to go in history. Knowing I’m someone that’s fought nothing but great fighters. So, I’m really proud to be fighting Gutierrez.
 
Q
What are your thoughts on the people that are saying you’re being brought in to lose and you’re a heavy underdog? What are your thoughts on that?
 
A. Gutierrez
Look, I’m coming to surprise everybody. I feel very good. It is my dream to bring home the World Championship and I’m going to go ahead and really shock boxing fans in Los Angeles. I am not just an opponent.
 
Q
Robert what have you seen in Gutierrez that you have to change if you were training for Santa Cruz?
 
R. Garcia
We just added a couple sparring partners that are more similar to Gutierrez. But we continue doing the same thing and continue to fighting the way I want against Gutierrez or Santa Cruz and we just continue doing the same kind of workout, the same plan that we already have because I want to continue preparing Abner because I know eventually that fight will happen.
 
We’re not looking past Gutierrez. Gutierrez is a young lion and I told Abner and I told everybody in camp, “You know, these kids are the most dangerous guys because they got nothing to lose and they come to fight or become world champions.”
 
So we’re definitely prepared for Gutierrez with adding a few sparring partners that fight similar to him, but the training camp and the plan continues to be the same.
 
Q
Could you ask Andres how devastating it was to go through what he went through the day before the Frampton fight?
 
A. Gutierrez
The reality is I’m back 100% from what happened in the whole Carl Frampton situation. That’s all behind me. My focus is Abner Mares. I’m ready for Abner Mares. You all will see on October 14 that I am 100% and extremely focused and ready.
 
R. Schaefer
Thank you everybody. If we can have this group make closing statements please.
 
A. Gutierrez
I want to say thank you to all the media and thank you all to the fights fans. The reality is I’m going to bring my best when I step inside the ring next Saturday, and I feel very strong and I’m looking forward this opportunity.
 
A, Mares             
I just want to thank everybody. I want to thank my team. I want to thank you guys, the media, plus FOX and FOX Deportes. Shout out to everybody that’s making this possible. I’m looking forward to October 14, and let the best man win.
 
R. Schaefer
Thank you, Andres, and thank you, Abner. We are all excited seeing you next week and we are going to get it going next week with some activities here and around Los Angeles to promote the fight. So I’ll see you all next week.
 
Now, let’s move on to Leo Santa Cruz against Chris Avalos. With Leo, there’s another guy where you know he’s never going to be in a bad fight. He is definitely, pound-for-pound, one of the most exciting fighters and he throws punches in bunches. So he is going to be coming home here to Los Angeles to the StubHub Center on October the 14th to defend his featherweight world title which he won in great fight earlier this year against Leo Santa Cruz.
 
He’s facing, with Chris Avalos, somebody who is another exciting fighter who comes forward. He had a shot at the title in 2015 when he was fighting Carl Frampton in Belfast, challenging for the IBF World Super Bantamweight Title. Here he comes again, trying to win to take the title away from Leo Santa Cruz. He’s clearly going into this fight as the underdog.
 
But it’s exactly these kind of fights where you have the overwhelming favorite, Leo Santa Cruz, maybe taking a round less in sparring because you are such a big favorite. And even mentally, I’ve seen it before where fighters just prepare differently. Then with Avalos, this is his chance. This is his opportunity and he’s going to come in ready and he’s going to come in at the best shape and the best condition he can and we will see who will on Saturday night, October 14. One thing I do know is that it will be an exciting fight because Avalos always comes to fight.
 
It’s a pleasure for me now to introduce to you, with a record of 27 wins and 5 losses with 20 knockouts, the heavy-handed fighter coming out of Lancaster, California who most recently scored a TKO victory over Miguel Flores on a PBC FS1 card on July 18. Please welcome Chris Avalos.
 
Chris Avalos
Training’s been good and I’ve been ready, been in training actually since, like March getting ready for the Flores fight. I haven’t stopped training and I’m doing really good in sparring. I did lots of rounds in sparring and jogging every day and every weekend.
 
R. Schaefer
I like to introduce to you now one of my absolute favorite fighters, a very good friend as well, who I have a pleasure to work with for many, many, many of his fights. He is – just like I mentioned about Abner, he’s a tremendous champion inside of the ring, a great human, a great son and father and husband —  afamily man all around. Truly one of the nicest men in the sport.
 
But also maybe one of the most exciting guys in the ring as well. Never in a boring fight. He held world titles in three different weight classes — 118, 122, 126 pounds — and he is one of the stars, one of the big names in the sport. Please welcome my friend, Leo Santa Cruz.
 
Leo Santa Cruz
Thank you for the nice words and for the introduction. Thank you to all the media, to all the fans I’m just excited. I’m very happy to be back in the ring. I was ready to go back in the ring and then a long layoff and now I’m ready to get back in there. So I’ve been training hard, sparring, and I’ve been doing everything 100% — learning new things with my dad. I’m just ready to step in the ring and give a great performance for all the fans like I always try to do. I just go out there thinking about the fans and that’s what I’m hoping to do this time, because Avalos is a tough fighter, with big power, so I know we’re going to give a great fight because we’re both going to go out there and, you know, try to get the win, go toe-to-toe and make it a war.
 
Q
How surprised were you that you were tapped to get this shot at a world title against the featherweight that many people consider the Number 1 guy in the weight class?
 
C. Avalos            
Yes. It was a big surprise but even though it was a surprise I honestly thought I was going to get a world title shot later on, maybe next year, like middle of next year. But now that it’s here now, I’m ready.
 
Q
What it would mean to sort of derail the best laid plans for a Santa Cruz versus Mares rematch?
 
C. Avalos            
Yes, it’d be a blessing. I’ve been in training and I’ve been working hard, staying focused, at the gym and jogging and if I’m not in the gym I’m with my family. So it’s been a really good chance for me, so yes, I’m really planning to pull an upset that night.
 
Q
Is this do or die for Chris Avalos’ career?
 
C. Avalos            
Exactly. Yes, well actually it is. Yes, and that’s how I feel about it. That’s exactly how I feel about it.
 
Q
From your point of view, why is the rematch with Mares not happening now?
 
L. Santa Cruz     
We both came from a long layoff. He fought in December. I fought in January. I think we had both decided to get a fight before but I’ll never overlook under any opponent. Every opponent is dangerous to me and they say the underdog opponent are the most dangerous because they come hungry, they come for the opportunity.
 
I did think it was a matter of time and just wanted to set the right time and I think that’s why it got changed because people thought it was maybe too soon. We had the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the Canelo and Triple G fight. So there were other big fights and it would definitely be hard to focus on this fight right now.
 
I was ready for any opponent. I was get ready for any opponent. If I’m going to fight the champion or any opponent, I’m training the best and I’m going to go out there and be very smart and patient and do what I have to do.
 
Abner says that it was actually your team that said, “Forget about the rematch right away, as far as this fight.” And said that it was really the decision that your father made. Can you address that please?
 
L. Santa Cruz
Yes. I think it was kind of my father’s decision because I was getting ready because they told me I was going to fight Mares, so I was getting ready for Mares. I was in camp, and then they came and I think they asked my dad that for his opinion or something like and I think my dad said I had the long layoff and that he wanted me to get another fight before going in there with Mares. So that’s what I think – that’s what happened. But, yes, I think it was kind of my dad’s decision that he would prefer for me to go and and get a fight before fighting Abner a second time. So I said, “All right. If that’s what you want, well let’s go for it.”
 
Q
How did that decision with you and your father go down?
 
L. Santa Cruz
I said, “I’m ready. I could fight (Mares) right now.” And my dad said, “Yes, I know you could and everything but I think you don’t know how your body is going to react. This is the longest layoff you have had. I really don’t know how your body’s going to look or feel, so I don’t want to risk it.” and I said, “Okay. I’ll listen to you and we’ll go with that.”
 
Q                          
Okay, but if everything works out for you guys on October 14, Leo, are you committed to fighting in the early part of next year as Richard said — approximately March?
 
L. Santa Cruz     
Yes. Of course. When he told me that, I had told him, “Okay. Yes, but I want to get this fight and if I win. We get Mares, I want to face him right away.” And they say, “Yes.” So they’re going to do everything that’s possible to make it as soon as possible. And I think that’s going to be next fight if everything goes good.
 
Q
Chris, do you believe this is your last shot at a title?
 
C. Avalos            
Yes. I believe it is like I answered earlier, I didn’t expect it’d be so soon. But I feel like I’m ready and I’ve been training hard for it. So I really can’t say if it’s my last or not. Just know that I’m ready for it. I’m going to give it my all October 14. I will leave everything I have in the ring.
 
Q
How bad do you want the fight with (Mares)?
 
L. Santa Cruz     
Really bad. I want it ever since that first fight. He said right after that he wanted the rematch I said I would give it to him. The fans loved that fight. We both gave a great fight and it was a great turnout, so I said, “I’ll give it to you. Why not?” I said, “If he would have beat me, I would have liked him to give me the rematch.” I said, “Since I beat him, I said I would give him the rematch.” But he has that – there was never a talk about it anymore or there were no probably no interest or anything until now.
 
I said, “One night, I want that fight.” And like I said, I’m not looking past this fight. First I want to get this fight, and if we both get our wins, we’ll work everything to get our fight next – in the beginning of the year.
 
Q
And as far as Avalos, are there any excuses that you might have if something goes wrong in your training or the lack of fighting?
 
L. Santa Cruz     
Anything can happen in boxing. Sometimes you get caught with a big shot or it’s not your night. Anything’s going to happen. If I lose, I know how to recognize that he was better fighter. I don’t make any excuses. I’m training 100% like if I’m fighting any other champion. And that’s what I’m looking for in this fight. He’s going to come with everything he got. I know this is an opportunity and a dangerous fighter so I know I’m really focused, real dedicated, and putting everything in the ring and come October 14, there are going to be no excuses.
 
 
Q
My question is for both Leo and Richard. Given the events of last month in Mexico, I was wondering what you guys thought the emotions would be and what the emotions are right now heading into what is essentially an all- Mexican card?
 
R. Schaefer
Well first of all, I want to just send my condolences to everyone affected by all of these incidents, whether it was Mexico, the earthquake, or Puerto Rico, or more recently that horrible shooting in Las Vegas.
 
What always encourages me in all that tragedy, puts a little smile on my face, is how the boxing community comes together whether it’s promoters helping financially or fighters helping and cheering up the local communities, the boxing community is really a fraternity and I’m very proud to be part of that and I hope we all rally and try to help and do whatever we can. And I think, for the fighters on the card, being Mexican, my wife is Mexican is born in Mexico, for them to unify to do something for their countrymen and countrywomen it’s very significant and I’m sure that they are going to give their best for the pride of Mexico, fighting for their country.
 
And maybe giving some much needed distraction to these people in Mexico or in Puerto Rico or whereever it is around the world to maybe just forget for a moment and through their actions in the ring, their entertainment in the ring bring some joy into their lives. And I am sure that Mares or Gutierrez or Avalos or others on the card would all second that sentiment.
 
Q
Have you gotten a sense from him or any of the other fighters how difficult this has been?
 
R. Schaefer
It’s very difficult because there is a very close Mexican community – and I see it in my own family with my wife as well. We all have relatives in Mexico, in and around Mexico City so it definitely impacted many, many lives, whether it’s immediate family or friends or other relatives. Clearly lives were impacted everywhere. So that’s definitely something which is on everybody’s mind.
 
L. Santa Cruz     
Yes, I’ve been upset listening to all those things, disasters like the earthquake, plus everything in Texas, and Puerto Rico and now the shooting in Las Vegas.
 
I put myself in those people’s shoes that have families there or the people that were there, that you could never take anything for granted. You can never take life for granted and it’s very hard and I wish to help in any little way I could.
 
Right now, my main focus is the fight. I want to go out there and give a great fight for the fans and everything I’m going to do on that fight day and everything I’m going to do out there is for all those fallen people that have been killed in the earthquakes and the shootings and everything. We’re going to go out there and fight for them to bring them something to distract as best we can.
 
I just feel very bad and I want to help everyone. Right now I’ve been very busy in training and trying to go out there and just give my family a good future.
 
R. Schaefer
Well then, I’d like to thank all the media members and I just want to say something which is really interesting through here on this conference call and something which one of the first people who actually asked a question mentioned. How difficult was it to sort of like overcome the fact that Leo and Abner are not fighting each other?
 
You see that in this call today as well, it makes this card that much more interesting from in-the-ring action because we’ve seen many examples in boxing — in sports — where the underdog turned around and beat the favorite. Was it because of maybe the favorites — or the world champions in this case — maybe didn’t prepare as much? Is it because the underdogs came in better than anyone expected?
 
Many examples are out there and to talk about the potential Santa Cruz/Mares fight early next March, I think only throws oil into the fire for Avalos and Gutierrez to really come and give their very best to become world champion. Both of those guys have tremendous opportunities to become world champions and I know they will be ready, and I hope that my two friends, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, know what’s at stake and that they know that they have a target on their back and they better be ready.
 
So it will be an exciting night, an exciting double-header with two of the most exciting fighters, two Mexican superstars fighting life network FOX and FOX Deportes. What a showcase for boxing. What a showcase for these fighters on this card. What an opportunity and what a great deal for the people up in Los Angeles for as little as $30 to be able to be part of this exciting night of boxing.
 
So with that, for those who are not be able to be in Carson, make sure you watch it live – 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT. Looking forward to see you all next week.
 
#          #          #
 
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FOX or FOX Deportes feeds. The fights are 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, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
 
Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @Ringstar, @TGBPromotions, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, http://www.facebook.com/RingstarSports and http://www.facebook.com/foxdeportes. Highlights available at http://www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions. PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

FOUR-TIME WORLD CHAMPION BOXER ABNER MARES BRINGS MEDIA WORKOUT TO L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF’S CENTURY BOXING GYM THURSDAY

Media Workout Held in Advance of October 14 Title Fight against Andres Gutierrez at Stubhub Center on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes

 Tickets Available at AXS.com

Click HERE For Photos

abner

Photo Credit: Abraham Labrada

 

LOS ANGELES – September 29 – Southern California’s four-time world boxing champion Abner Mares hosted an open media workout at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Century Boxing Gym Thursdayin advance of Mares’ Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes bout against Andres Gutierrez – a ‘Fight for my Community’/’Peleando por mi Comunidad’ at StubHub Center in Carson, CA on Saturday, October 14. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

 

The October 14 bout will be the second since Team Mares and renowned trainer and former world champion himself, Robert Garcia have joined forces in the corner. Mares, Garcia and Team Mares strength and conditioning coach Luis Garcia demonstrated some training techniques for media and members of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Century Boxing Gym.

 

Mares is the current WBA World Featherweight Champion and former three-division world champion.  He is a supporter and mentor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s youth boxing program that is located at the Century Boxing Gym. Born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. at age 7, he grew up in Hawaiian Gardens, CA and credits programs such as the Sheriff’s as helping kids stay out of trouble and stay in shape.  Mares hosts multiple community events during the year including the back-to-school drive at the Century Gym, an annual Thanksgiving turkey meal drive in Downey and most recently donation drives for the people of Mexico after the earthquakes, as well as Puerto Rico and Houston.

 

Here is what Mares & Garcia had to say at the special media workout:

 

ABNER MARES:

“We went into this training camp thinking I was going to fight Leo Santa Cruz and then when we were told I wasn’t, we just never stopped training. We’ve kept the same pace, same desire, which is to win and look spectacular.

 

“Working with Robert Garcia and Luis Garcia has been great. I really haven’t stopped training with them for the past two years.  I think everyone saw the reinvigorated Abner last December when I won my fourth title and that work ethic and skills has not gone away.. I’m stronger, focused and have a great team around me 12 months out of the year. ”

 

On holding his media workout at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Century Boxing Gym:

“It’s great to be here within the community showing what I go through for a fight. Going in and winning is good but this sport is more than that, it’s putting in the work and showcasing. We are excited to donate some tickets to the kids in this program, let them see what a professional fight is like and let these kids see themselves there in the future. ”

 

On hosting and leading charity events and donation drives:

“The message we should all send is not only giving back but also being united. Being one, being peaceful, it’s God sending us a message – waking us up, smacking us in the head – and letting us know that we need each other. So we’re all getting together and uniting, uniting as family and as human beings.”

 

Robert Garcia

“With Abner already being the world champ it’s more rounds, more private timing and training for him since this is a world title fight. With the younger guys in the gym they train with Abner, Luis sparred with him. It’s good for the to train with a world champ, see what it takes to train to be a world champ and more importantly stay a world champ. It’s great experience for the younger guys.

 

“Abner trains with me every day, he’s doing everything he’s told and that’s what a real champ needs to know and do.  We’re excited and ready for this fight.”

 

The diversity of the program:

“With my gym I’m impressed in what I see with Abner; I see a world champion who’s already a three division world champ, four time champion of the world, who stays in the gym for another two hours to work with a Jose Aldo, or give tips to a young fighter coming up. I don’t see many world champs doing that. He needed a gym where he can see a champion from MMA like Jose Aldo as well as a champion like Mikey Garcia.”

 

Important fight:

“This fight is probably the most important fight, if we don’t get past this fight all the plans for 2018 are done. So we have to train very well, Abner has to continue to follow instructions and do what he has to do fight night. If he does everything we’ll have a great fight and our 2018 will mean bigger and better fights. ”

 

“Abner’s continued to get stronger, more focused and again, he’s shown up every day, very consistently training not only with me but Luis Garcia his strength and conditioning coach.”

 

Also on the fight card at Stubhub is three-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz who will defend his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos. 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.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

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Lightweights Collide as Ivan Redkach Battles Unbeaten Raynell Williams in Undercard Attraction on Saturday, October 14 from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

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Lightweights Collide as Ivan Redkach Battles Unbeaten Raynell Williams in Undercard Attraction on Saturday, October 14 from                                 StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

 

Plus! Rising Unbeaten Prospects Including 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Misael Rodriguez, Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis & Antonio Santa Cruz Enter the Ring for 

Exciting Day of Fights

 

CARSON, CALIF.  (September 28, 2017) – A 10-round lightweight showdown between Ivan Redkach (20-3-1, 16 KOs) and undefeated Raynell Williams (12-0, 6 KOs) will highlight undercard action on Saturday, October 14 from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

 

The October 21 event is headlined by Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action featuring sensational three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz defending his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos and four-time world champion Abner Mares defending 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 Eddie Ramirez challenging former 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.

 

Additional undercard action will feature 2016 Olympic bronze medalist for Mexico Misael Rodriguez (3-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round middleweight bout, 2016 Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis (3-0, 3 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight fight and the cousin of Leo Santa Cruz, Antonio Santa Cruz (5-3, 2 KOs), in a six-round bantamweight matchup against Angel Monrreal (10-10-1, 3 KOs).

 

Rounding out the card is former title challenger Roberto Marroquin (26-4-1, 19 KOs) in eight-rounds of super featherweight action plus a group of unbeaten local prospects as Luis Coria (4-0, 3 KOs) steps in for a four-round featherweight affair, Jerry Perez (2-0, 2 KOs) competes in a four-round super featherweight contest, Jose Perez (1-0, 1 KO) takes on Jose Vargas (2-0, 1 KO) in a four-round super bantamweight tilt and Jose Balderas (1-0) steps in for a four-round bantamweight fight.

 

Originally from Ukraine but now training in California with the Santa Cruz family, Redkach scored an eighth-round stoppage of Demond Brock in January in Las Vegas before dropping a narrow decision to former champion Argenis Mendez in May. A pro since 2009, the 31-year-old Redkach was unbeaten in his first 18 pro fights before losing to former world champion Dejan Zlaticanin.

 

Fighting out of Cleveland, Williams was a 2008 U.S. Olympian who is unbeaten since joining the professional ranks in 2013. The 28-year-old stopped Just Savi to begin his 2017 and will look to make the jump to contender when he fights in California for the first time as a pro on October 14.

 

At last year’s Rio games, the 23-year-old Rodriguez overcame incredible odds to win the first Olympic boxing medal for Mexico since Christian Bejerano in 2000. The Chihuahua native and his teammates had to resort to begging on public buses and streets in Mexico to raise money to compete in international boxing tournaments. He completed his road to the medal stand by defeating Egypt’s Hosam Bakr Abdin to clinch a medal in the middleweight division. Rodriguez mad his pro debut in April with a dominant decision victory over Brian True and followed it up knockout of Jose David Mosquera in July and a TKO against Race Sawyer in September.

 

An accomplished amateur representing Kaunas, Lithuania, Stanionis is looking to become the next Eastern European fighter to make a splash in the U.S. The 23-year-old had a 141-19 record as an amateur and earned four senior national championships before winning gold at the European Olympic Qualifier to earn his trip to the 2016 Games. A gold medalist at welterweight at the 2015 European Amateur Boxing Championships, Stanionis has impressed with knockouts in his first three starts since turning pro in April, including a first round destruction of Oscar Valenzuela in September.

 

Part of the fighting Santa Cruz family, the 21-year-old Santa Cruz put together a four-bout winning streak heading into this year before losing a close fight to Jonathan Arturo Torres in May. A pro since 2015, Santa Cruz fights out of San Gabriel, California and will make his StubHub Center debut when he faces Mexico’s Monrrreal..

 

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Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FOX or FOX Deportes feeds. The fights are 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, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

 

For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.ringstar.com, www.tgbpromotions.com, http://www.foxsports.com/presspass/homepage and www.foxdeportes.com.  

Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @Ringstar, @TGBPromotions, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/RingstarSports and www.facebook.com/foxdeportes. Highlights available at www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

 

Leo Santa Cruz Media Workout Quotes & Photos

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Leo Santa Cruz Media Workout Quotes & PhotosFeatherweight Champion Battles Chris Avalos in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Main Event Saturday, October 14 from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

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LOS ANGELES (September 19, 2017) – Three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz hosted a media workout Tuesday at the new Team Watson Boxing Club in Lake Balboa, Calif. as he prepares to defend his featherweight titles against Chris Avalos on Saturday, October 14 in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Televised coverage begins 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with four-time world champion Abner Mares defending his 126-pound belt against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez.

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.

Also in attendance was lightweight Ivan Redkach, who trains with Santa Cruz and will compete in an undercard bout on October 14.

Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday:

LEO SANTA CRUZ

“Now we both get another fight first, I’m pretty sure we will both win and the fans win by seeing us again as well.

“I always train the same way. I train really hard. I go out there like I’m going to fight the best opponent possible. My focus is there. You can never underestimate any fighter. Especially someone like Avalos. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by beating me.

“Fighters like that are the most dangerous. They come really prepared and I can’t afford to lose. I am going to be focused coming into October 14.

“If we both get the win, I want the rematch with Abner in the beginning of the year. That is going to happen so I’m not concerned about both of us taking a fight first.

“I feel great and will be ready and prepared to fight 12 hard rounds on October 14.

“I know this will be a tough fight, every fight at this level is a tough fight.

“I am coming off of two hard fights and I wanted my body to rest, but I am always ready to get in the gym and prepare to do my best. I will never take a fight lightly and I won’t on October 14.

“The rematch will be a very tough fight like the first, it’s better for Abner and I
to each have a fight in-between.”

IVAN REDKACH

“I’m very excited to fight in Southern California on a big show against a tough fighter. I’m ready for October 14th.

“This is my third fight training with the Santa Cruz family and I love training with them. They’ve taught me a great deal about defense and about throwing combinations. I feel like it’s more of a ‘Mexican Style’ for me. I feel like they have helped me become a more entertaining fighter.

“This is really like a double hometown fight for me. I’ve lived in Southern California for eight years and I’ve been on a lot of Leo’s cards, so I will be in my second home with my second family.”

JOSE SANTA CRUZ, Leo’s Father & Trainer

“Avalos is a very tough fighter, if we fight Mares we want a tough fight first to get ready.” Continue reading

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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Premier Boxing Champions Rolls Into May With An Exciting Slate Of Shows

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Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz

Puts On Promoter’s Hat For FS1 & FOX Deportes

Toe-to-Toe Tuesday Show On May 2

 

Unbeaten Rising Star David Benavidez Tests

His Mettle Against Porky Medina In 168-Pound

World Title Eliminator On FS1 & FOX Deportes

On Saturday, May 20

 

Undefeated Welterweight Star Errol Spence

Challenges Kell Brook For 147-pound Championship

In Sheffield, England in Premier Boxing Champions Action

On SHOWTIME, May 27

 

LAS VEGAS (May 1, 2017) – The Premier Boxing Champions series will follow a very busy April with an extremely exciting month of May. The slate of shows will run the weight spectrum from featherweight to super middleweight.

 

“The Premier Boxing Champions series schedule for May has a slate of shows where several boxers get an opportunity to step up to world title matches,” said Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications for Haymon Sports. “With so much on the line those kinds of challenges typically lead to action-packed, fan-friendly matches.”

 

Kicking off the month is a thrilling 10-round lightweight clash between Ivan Redkach (20-2-1, 16 KOs) and former world champion Argenis Mendez (23-5-1, 12 KOs) on TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California on May 2. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

 

The show will be staged by featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz’s Last Round Promotions, and will include an 8-round junior featherweight match between Brandon Figueroa and Luis Saavedra and a 6-round bantamweight match between Antonio Santa Cruz and Arturo Torres. The show will be a family affair as Brandon Figueroa is the younger brother of Omar Figueroa and Antonio is the cousin of Leo Santa Cruz.

 

David Benavidez (17-0, 16 KOs), an ascending star, will meet former world title challenger Rogelio “Porky” Medina (37-7, 31 KOs) in a super middleweight title elimination match from Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas on May 20. Benavidez will face the toughest test of his career against Medina, a veteran who has already fought for a world title. The winner will get a shot at the 168-pound world champion.

 

Televised coverage will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with unbeaten 126-pound contender Jorge Lara (28-0-2, 20 KOs) taking on hard-hitting brawler Mario Briones (28-5-2, 22 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight match.

 

Unbeaten top welterweight star Errol Spence, Jr. (21-0, 19 KOs) will travel from his home in Desoto, Texas to take on Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) in his hometown at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England in a Premier Boxing Championship match on SHOWTIME.

 

In other non-PBC matches of interest to boxing fans in the month of May, Gervonta Davis (17-0, 18 KOs) will defend his 130-pound world title against No. 1 contender Liam Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) from Copper Box Arena in London, England on SHOWTIME on May 20.

 

On the same night Gary Russell, Jr. (21-1, 16 KOs) will defend his 126-pound world title against Oscar Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) at MGM National Harbor outside Washington D.C. on SHOWTIME. In the co-feature Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) will meet Jose Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KOs) for the vacant 168-pound championship. Additionally, Rances Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) faces Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) in a lightweight world title eliminator.