Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was in attendance for the Battle of LA as Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares were in an all-action scrap on Saturday for the vacant WBA Super World featherweight title – the same title that was stripped from Nicholas Walters for missing weight leading up to his fight against Miguel Marriaga this past June.
Santa Cruz escaped with the crown via majority decision with two scores of 117-111 and a 114-114 outcome.
Although some in the boxing world thought a 117-111 was a bit of a stretch, Chavez, who has had his fair share of questionable decisions in his career, seemed to agree with the score.
“I’m excited for the people. [There were] a lot of Mexican people going crazy for this fight,” Chavez said to Tha Boxing Voice’s Fernando Pimentel. “The fight was very good. Both fighters fought well.”
“Santa Cruz won it clearly. I think it was a close fight. Mares did a great job, he showed a lot of heart, but I think Santa Cruz won and landed the best punches.”
Before this fight got signed, many had the initial feeling that this could be the next installment of an epic Mexican boxing rivalry like the Morales-Barrera trilogy. The overall feeling from boxing fans was mixed on whether it lived up to that type of a fight.
However, in spite of Santa Cruz’s clear victory, Chavez feels that Mares did enough to merit a rematch.
“Mares deserves the rematch. I don’t know if the people [will be] interested in the rematch,” Chavez added. “All is good for both fighters; they have a lot of options.”
WBO World Featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko has been trying to get a fight with WBO/WBA super-bantamweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux but has been unsuccessful.
It does appear, however, that Rigondeaux is trying to get a fight with Santa Cruz after he said this on Twitter last evening.
My university colleague from Cuba helped with the translation.
“You aren’t at my level; you have been boxing with taxi drivers. If Abner Mares wins, I will beat the life out of you,” Rigondeaux said.
Mares didn’t win, so will Rigondeaux beat the life out of Santa Cruz? Will they even sign a contract to fight? We’ll have to wait and see.