Home Sports Leo Santa Cruz beats Abner Mares to retain WBA featherweight title

Leo Santa Cruz beats Abner Mares to retain WBA featherweight title


Mexican featherweight Leo Santa Cruz retained his WBA belt on Saturday with a unanimous decision victory over Abner Mares.

Santa Cruz (34-1-1-KO19) largely controlled the fight, a rematch of their 2015 featherweight title bout, and was awarded the win on all three judges’ scorecards -115-113, 116-112, 117-111.

“I did what I had to do to win the fight,” Santa Cruz said. “Mares is a tough fighter. Thank God I got the victory.”

Santa Cruz took the win despite suffering a serious cut over his left eye in the eighth round – the result of a head butt from Mares.

“A cut is a cut. It is just blood. It wasn’t bothering my eyes. It just gives me more motivation,” added Santa Cruz.

Mares (31-3-1-KO15) admits Santa Cruz deserved to win but believes he did enough to warrant a third fight.

“I am sorry I came out short,” said Mares. “It is always a problem trying to get inside on him. I fought my heart out but at the end of the day, I did my best.

“Let’s do a third fight.”

Meanwhile, on the undercard, WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo successfully defended his belt for the third time by defeating Austin Trout via a 12-round majority decision.

Charlo (31-0-KO15) floored his opponent twice on his way to victory, with two of the judges’ scoring in favour of the Texan, 115-111 and 118-108, with the third scoring the bout a 113-113 draw.


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