Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1)
Abner Mares (29-1-1)
Breakdown and Prediction
This has the potential to be a great fight. Santa Cruz has proven himself to be a real good fighter, and he's taking on the best. If Abner Mares can get back to being the kind of fighter he was before Jhonny Gonzalez knocked him out. The lasting effects from a defeat like that can be hard for a fighter to overcome. Mares says he's ready and that he used that for a learning experience. He'll need to put that fight behind him if he expects to defeat Santa Cruz.
Leo Santa Cruz is a real good boxer and if he can keep the distance he wants he won't lose. Mares has some real power behind his punches. I honestly have this fight at a 50/50 toss up, but Cruz might have a slight advantage because of his boxing skills, and if Mares hasn't overcome the 1st round KO loss to Gonzalez then the advantage is huge for Sana Cruz. With everyone at their best it could be fight of the year.
Santa Cruz by split decision.