Posts Tagged ‘Leo Santa Cruz’

BeatsBoxingMayhem is providing a live stream of the weigh-in for Showtime’s double-header featuring Jermell Charlo vs. Austin Trout and Leo Santa Cruz’s rematch against Abner Mares. The link opens at 3 p.m. with the card airing Saurday night at 10 p.m. ET.

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Check out the final press conference for the big rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. The live stream opens at 3:30 p.m. The two rivals square off this Saturday on Showtime at 10 p.m ET

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LAS VEGAS — Leo Santa Cruz knew he couldn’t beat Carl Frampton by brawling, so he did what all great fighters do by adjusting his game plan. The pressure fighter morphed to a boxer-puncher to take a majority decision and regain the WBA featherweight title.

From round one, the feel of the fight had a pronounced difference from their first encounter last July. The taller Santa Cruz worked behind his jab and forced Frampton to become the aggressor and takes risks to get inside. When Frampton succeeded, the challenger took a step back and scored with short flurries inside, forcing Frampton back outside to reset.

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This pattern continued until the sixth round when Frampton began to wear down Santa Cruz with hard body shots and mauling. The punishment and pace slowed Santa Cruz’s jab, giving Frampton more opportunities to close the scoring gap in the seventh and eighth stanzas.

In the ninth, Santa Cruz’s jab and high activity returned. Frampton couldn’t equal the challenger’s punch output, and found himself being out-landed 3-1 in exchanges.

Despite the masterful game plan, Frampton’s success in the mid rounds and desperation push in the 12th made for close scorecards. Judge Burt Clements had it a draw, 114-114. He was overruled by Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman, who both had it 115-113 for Santa Cruz.

The most impressive moment came afterward from Santa Cruz, who stated in his post-fight interview that he wants another fight to make a trilogy. You heard that right. No mention of needing to talk with his manager or promoter. Santa Cruz lauded Frampton for giving him a rematch, and feel he’s obligated to return the favor.

I’m sure not a single boxing fan will have an objection.

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz had no issues making weight this afternoon for their much-anticipated rematch Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

Both fighters weighed in below the featherweight limit at 125.

PREDICTION: At the lower weights, Santa Cruz was able to wear guys down and eventually overwhelm them with his size, punch output and pressure. But at 126, the size advantage isn’t as pronounced, allowing a skilled pugilist like Frampton to keep Santa Cruz at bay with sharp counters. Santa Cruz doesn’t have the technique to outbox Frampton nor can he bulldoze him without getting rocked (like early in the first bout).

In other words, there isn’t much room for improvement I can see from Santa Cruz. Unless Frampton has regressed (not likely), I expect him to get another clear decision.

Dejan Zlaticanin and Mikey Garcia

GARCIA: 134.5

ZLATICANIN: 134.5

PREDICTION: A lot of people are worried for Garcia and with good reason. Zlaticanin is a southpaw pressure fighter that excels in punishing inside work. His right hand has serious pop but it’s usually the looping left hook that puts guys down. In an interview I’ll be posting tomorrow, Garcia explained he’s worked extensively on his right-hand counters. Short, compact punches (particularly the uppercut), will do the most damage. However, it remains to be seen how effective Garcia’s power will be against a full-fledged lightweight. After getting rocked and put in some trouble early on, I see Garcia adjusting to Zlaticanin’s rhythm and outboxing him to a tough unanimous decision.

 

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

BENAVIDEZ: 166

MAMADJANOV: 167

Opening the card is the undefeated David Benavidez taking on Sherali Mamadjanov in a super middleweight bout.

David Benavidez and Sherali Mamajonov

 

 

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Photo Credit: Scott Hirano/Showtime

ANAHEIM, CA — WBA featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz met the media today as he prepares for his first title defense against veteran Kiko Martinez. Santa Cruz gave his thoughts on his opponent, a winner in Frampton vs. Quigg, and his new venture into boxing promotion.

Santa Cruz vs. Martinez will air on Showtime February 27.

LEO SANTA CRUZ

I always train to make a statement. I want to go out there and show everyone that I’m really good and I deserve to be considered one of the best.
I fight for my family. Since I was small, this is what I’ve wanted to do to help my family. I wanted to work hard and give my family a better future.
Martinez is a strong fighter who comes forward and always puts pressure on you. He never backs down and always comes to fight. That’s what we like about this matchup — it makes for a more intense fight.
We’re going to give the fans an entertaining show. The fans are the ones who are going to win at the end of the night. I’m going to go out there and try to knock him out by the end of the third round. 
I think he’s going to be the aggressor because he’s shorter and has to fight that way. But I’m going to go forward and be the aggressor too. If that’s not working, I’ll box him. We’re going to do what we need to do to win the fight.
I see Carl Frampton vs. Scott Quigg as a 50-50 fight. It’s a tough fight for both of them. I think whoever catches the other guy first will get the victory. They both can hit and they both have great skills. It could go either way.
It’s a very interesting fight between Frampton and Quigg. They’ve both been possible opponents for me and I hope that I do well that night and face the winner of that fight. I don’t care who it is, I want to fight them.
I’m willing to fight whoever. I want the winner of Frampton-Quigg. If not then Lee Selby, Gary Russell Jr., Jesus Cuellar or anyone in the division. Hopefully next it will be one of those fighters.
My fighting style is to always go forward and throw a lot of punches. I just want to entertain the fans. I fight for them and I try to send them home happy. I want to go in there and fight in a war.
I’m going to fight all of the top guys. I’m still young and I know if I keep working hard and taking care of the guy in front of me, I’ll get all of those fights.
We’re working on our distance and learning new things every day in camp. I don’t want to change too much, since I’m undefeated. I’m going to be prepared mentally and physically to get the win.
We’re working hard all the time. We know what we have to do in the ring to win the fight. My last fight our strategy was to brawl but we adjusted it and moved more and we were able to get the victory.
On his recent foray into boxing promotion: “Being a promoter is difficult. It’s very hard. You’re always busy, so right now I’m focused on my boxing career. I’m letting my brothers and my family take care of it now. I’m not there 100 percent yet but I like to give my opinion. It’s something I’d like to do after I retire.


SANTA CRUZ VS MARES4607

Photo Credit: Suzanne Theresa/Premier Boxing Champions

LOS ANGELES — Leo Santa Cruz answered his critics in impressive fashion last night with a signature win over a determined Abner Mares. A majority decision (117-111 twice, 114114) in name only, Santa Cruz took over in the middle rounds and never looked back. And in doing so, Santa Cruz showed a previously overlooked trait — the ability to adjust a game plan and outsmart his opponent.

EARLY MAKINGS OF A CLASSIC: From the second the opening bell sounded, Mares was in Santa Cruz’s chest firing off blistering combos to the body and head. Santa Cruz, who’s used to being the aggressor, seemed surprised and unprepared for this strategy. His own offense was being smothered by clinches and rough-housing, and it appeared Mares was utilizing the strategy Shane Mosley had executed in the same building against Antonio Mosley six years earlier.

Unfortunately for Mares, his smaller frame couldn’t maintain the mauling and grueling pace. By the fifth, both fighters were bleeding from accidental butts, but Santa Cruz was the one gradually taking over as Mare’s aggression morphed to backfoot movement and labored counter-punching attempts.

HOW TO COMBINE VOLUME PUNCHING AND COUNTERPUNCHING: Mares’ inside combinations and lead power shots were his early successes, but his lack of creativity became an Achilles Heel over the bout’s second half. Santa Cruz was supposed to be the one-dimensional  slugger, but he was the fighter who adjusted his game by relying on his reach to time Mares’ telegraphed overhand rights.

By taking a step backward, Mares was left off-balance and in no-man’s land, where Santa Cruz safely clipped him with counter straight rights and hooks. And when Mares did make it inside, his mauling was nullified by Santa Cruz taking a quick side-step that put Mares out of position and susceptible to uppercuts and short hooks.

The adjustments resulted in Santa Cruz looking like the better technician while still maintaining a grueling pace that resulted in 1057 punches thrown.

THE DOMINANCE: I gave a lot a credit to Mares for his early body punching and had him up 4-2 after six. However, the last round Mares won on my card was the fifth, and Santa Cruz just overwhelmed him down the stretch. The sweep of rounds 6-12 gave Santa Cruz a 116-112 victory on my card.

“I stayed outside with the jab,” said Santa Cruz, who landed 71 jabs to Mares’s 7. “We were able to take control.
My dad told me that we could beat him by boxing. We want to be aggressive but tonight we had to box him too and that’s how we got it done.”

NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS: Santa Cruz is now the “super world” WBA featherweight champion and has options. Realistic in-house matchups are a Mares rematch, Julio Ceja (who scored a comeback KO in the co-feature), a unification with WBC titlist Gary Russell Jr., or Carl Frampton, who made his PBC debut last month. I’d prefer Frampton first, as style-wise we’d get an all-action bout with international flair. And Frampton is already on record stating he wants the fight.

FULL FIGHT


UNDERCARD RESULTS

JULIO CEJA TKO5 HUGO RUIZ: Julio Ceja peeled himself on the canvas to score a dramatic 5th round TKO over Hugo Ruiz. Ceja struggled with Hugo’s size and was dropped hard by a counter left hook in the third. After being saved by the bell, Ceja regrouped and scored his own knockdown off a left hook. But Ceja would not let his man recover and secured the stoppage with a barrage of power shots on the ropes.


ALEJANDRO LUNA TKO4 SERGIO LOPEZ: Prospect Luna kept his undefeated record (19-0, 14 KOs) by stalking and administering a brutal ending sequence of hooks to force a referee stoppage.


ALFREDO ANGULO RTD5 HECTOR MUNOZ: Alfredo Angulo continued his quiet comeback with an easy corner stoppage win. Munoz declined to come out for the sixth after being bloodied and floored in the previous round.


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Photo Credit: Abel Madrid

LOS ANGELES — Former world champion Abner Mares opened up his Del Mares gym yesterday to give media a first-hand look of his preparations for the August 29 fight against Leo Santa Cruz.

Mares sees the long-awaited bout as a stepping stone to a shot against WBC featherweight titlist and fellow PBC fighter Gary Russell Jr.

“It’s great to be here at my gym on my home turf,” said Mares. “I started the hashtag #ThisIsMyTown because L.A. is my town. Leo can say whatever he wants but I’m at home and ready to put on a show.

This is definitely the biggest fight of my career. I’m ready to fight anyone. I want Gary Russell Jr. and all the great fighters at this weight. It’s just a matter of taking care of business one by one.”

Mares will come into the Santa Cruz fight nearly 2 years to the day he suffered his first and only defeat — an embarrassing first round knockout at the hands of Jhonny Gonzalez. The journey back to the elite level has been arduous, but one Mares feels has made him a better fighter.

“In my mind, after the loss, I left the top level of the game. I had to overcome some issues mentally, but now I’m back better than I ever have been. I’m going to go in there August 29ready to prove that. I’m going to make a statement that Abner Mares is back.”

Mares vs. Santa Cruz will air on ESPN.