Mares is the better inside boxer of the two. It was a close round.
Their first bout was action-packed, and Santa Cruz and Mares began their rematch at a frantic tempo. He forced Santa Cruz to dig deep, utilizing quick hands and bottomless lungs to punish his opponent.
We have already seen Mares come up short in his attempt to bully and overwhelm Santa Cruz with power punches. Santa Cruz famously uses his purses to pay for medical care for his father and trainer, Jose, whose multiple myeloma is in remission.
Round 9: Santa Cruz continues to dominate with his jab as Mares continues to try and fight in close quarters.
Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares threw almost 2,000 punches in 12 rounds. The lively crowd of 12,505 gave a standing ovation to both fighters before the 12th round and again after the final bell. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz avenged that loss, and he affirmed his superiority over Mares. Santa Cruz landed 357 of 1,061 punches and Mares landed 226 of 997 in the rematch. I think both of us are seasoned and better fighters right now. He came forward and threw a lot of punches.
Santa Cruz suffered a cut near his right eye in the ninth round but it didn't bother him. He has boundless energy, can fight inside and out and loves to push the action. Mares seemed to be the busier of the two inside.
Santa Cruz (35-1-1) matched Mares' fierce pace and rallied from an unsteady start to win the rematch of his 2015 bout with Mares (31-3-1), his fellow Southern Californian. The hyper-athletic Russell looks like he'd fuck up this version of Santa Cruz, who not that long ago went from a one dimensional, volume punching boxer to a complete product. Mares was warned for hitting behind the head. Mares closes the distance and lands several hard body shots. The crowd was on their feet in appreciation of these two warriors who gave everything they had. Scores were unanimous for Santa Cruz - 115-113 from Ray Danseco, 116-112 from Steve Weisfeld, and 117-111 from Zac Young.
"I have to give a good show; there's no way I'm going to give a bad show". Mares often landed the harder punches, Santa Cruz the more frequent.
The 32-year-old Mares is an excellent fighter, and his pressure style makes him a tough out every time.
"I got my fight on July 28, but there's been a lot of talk about [Vasyl] Lomachenko and me over the past year".
"It was very important for me to show it because people thought I was just a fighter that went forward throwing punches and couldn't box", Santa Cruz said.
On the undercard, WBC super welterweight champ Jermell Charlo successfully defended his belt for the third time, by flooring Austin Trout twice en route to a 12-round majority decision.
In the first round the southpaw Trout used his jab effectively. Charlo's four-fight knockout streak ended in his third world title defense. Mares put together excellent combinations in the second round, looking less wild than he did in their first bout. Charlo continued to exert punishment on the game but tiring Trout. I'll leave it to the fans to decide. In the fifth round there was a clash of heads. Trout may be able to linger while giving Charlo the kind of looks that will make him work.
"Trout will tell you who will win that fight", Charlo said of a potential unification with IBF and WBA 154-pound titleholder Jarret Hurd. "It is always a problem trying to get inside on him".
Charlo recorded two knockdowns in the bout. He did his best but his best was not enough.
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