It was a very good fight indeed on Saturday between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz. Was it close to the likes of Mexican battles between Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez or Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera? No. But it certainly was very good action.
The buildup to the fight revolved around some great Mexican battles and talks of a trilogy were possible. But in hindsight, it was a good fight, didn’t have much drama, and had a clear winner.
After the fight Santa Cruz said he needed the buildup, and it was all worth it.
“The last two years were something we needed,” Santa Cruz told the media. “We needed those fights to learn new things. Little by little, we knew we’d get the big fights. We can’t just fight hard fights all the time. But now, it’s time to get those big fights. Those are what I want.”
Mares came out the gate early and faded late. He gave it his all but in the long run; it was too short. He feels he won the fight and deserved a rematch.
I’d be more than willing to do a rematch. He knows it was a close fight; that’s why he said that,” stated Mares. “Again, all my respect. I respect fighters. I knew he had never faced a level of fighter like me. He proved he’s a great fighter, and that’s that.”
Santa Cruz says the fans will determine if there is a rematch or not in the future.
“The fans are the ones that have to choose that,” Santa Cruz said. “I’m here to fight the best. I was going to prove it by beating Mares tonight. I was ready for him and [I’m ready] for anybody else. I look better. I know how to box. If the fans want a rematch, I’m willing. Like I said in the beginning, I knew if I had lost, I would have wanted a rematch, and if he lost, he would want it. Whatever happens, happens.”
Santa Cruz should move on, and Mares should move back down to 122.