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Santa Cruz defeats Mares: A Win is a Win

Abner MaresBy The Sandman: Last Saturday night at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California, Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KO’s) came out victorious in winning a 12 round majority decision in his fight against Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KO’s). Many fans and boxing analysts felt Santa Cruz’s recent level of competition had not prepared Santa Cruz for a match up with Mares. However, Santa Cruz demonstrated intelligence, patience, and skills that were not needed in his previous fights.

Boxing Fans had not seen the 27-year-old Santa Cruz face adversity until the first round of Saturday’s fight with Mares. Before the opening bell, Mares seemed settled on the idea that he would take the fight to Santa Cruz and also had the demeanor of a confident fighter.

The judges’ scored the fight 117-111, 117-111 and 114-114.

Almost immediately, Mares showed that he was prepared to be the aggressor in the fight by coming forward in aggressive Fashion. Santa Cruz remained calm and made it an exciting fight by refusing to remain defensive. Throughout the fight, both fighters went back and forth, showing signs of a classic fight between two young Mexican warriors.

It was clear that Santa Cruz’s height advantage and reach would be a factor in the fight and Mares would have to adjust. Unfortunately for him, Mares did not seem to be able to telegraph his punches causing him to only land 23% of his punches compared to Santa Cruz’s 35%.

Santa Cruz showed intelligence by remaining low and keeping his chin tucked in between exchanges. A lot of Mares’ power punches seemed to go over Santa Cruz’s head and Mares ignored quick opportunities for uppercuts, instead choosing the left hook. Mares showed signs of a rally in the middle rounds before Santa Cruz was able to regain control of the fight with superior boxing.

Santa Cruz has shown he can handle top level competition and can be very exciting to watch in a fight of this magnitude. A draw seemed to be the more accurate score of the three scores present by the judges, but still inaccurate. Santa Cruz was able to land the more effective shots and hurt Mares.

Mares’ game plan seemed to be designed to score points, especially in the later rounds when Mares began to smother Santa Cruz. In a fight this close, Santa Cruz’s corner showed they had prepared and designed a better game plan than Mares’ corner. Although the scorecards did not accurately reflect the great battle, Santa Cruz still did prove to be the winner. Rematch anyone?


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