Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares went at it Saturday night in the Staples Center.  After a series of entertaining under cards the main event was underway.  Mares came out hard and quick to start the fight but the speed of Santa Cruz presented made it difficult for Mares to really do damage.  The two Mexican fighters went at it over twelve rounds before the final bell rang.  Santa Cruz won via Majority decision and added another W to the win column.

The fight that took place was one of the most entertaining fights of the year,  Both men went out there every round and gave it there all until the final bell.  The fighters threw a total of 2.037 punches over twelve rounds and put on a show for the 13,109 fans that packed in to the Staples Center.  The primary reason Santa Cruz won the fight was because of his long jab.  Mares was able to rough up Santa Cruz during the fight but failed to connect any detrimental power punches which gave the advantage to Santa Cruz.

Throughout the entirety of the fight Santa Cruz seemed more poised in the ring staying cool while under duress.

“My dad told me that we could beat him by boxing,” Santa Cruz said about his father and trainer. “We want to be aggressive, but tonight we had to box him, too. And that’s how we got it done.”

This strategy is what won the fight for Leo.  He played a defensive role in the ring and struck when the opportunity presented its self.  Mares on the other hand came out hitting hard and fast early on.

“I think I made a mistake in my strategy,” Mares said. “I came out strong, and my corner was telling me to slow down. I wanted to go as fast as I could.”

Mares came out hitting hard and fast in the beginning ,and did not necessarily punch himself out ,but simply played too aggressive which allowed for the crafty Santa Cruz to pick and choose what he wanted to do.

Both fighters welcomed the idea of a rematch, something that would not be too difficult considering they are both signed with Al Haymon however,  for now  Santa Cruz has proven he is one of the best lightweight fighters in the division after the win ,and Mares has proven that he can still endure and hang with some of boxing’s best.

Aniello Piro

Spark Sports Analyst

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