Very rarely does the sequel live up to the original but Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares made part two of their 2015 bout leave fans wanting for more. After sharing a very intense 36 minutes in the ring together a little over a thousand days ago, the two gladiators picked up right where they left off back in August 2015. In a fight that was as back and forth as the seesaw at your local playground, Santa Cruz prevailed by unanimous decision – 117-111, 116-112 & 115-113. Santa Cruz also won their initial encounter by majority decision.
Both guys came out gunning with high intensity to start the fight. By the midway point, Santa Cruz simply seemed to be outhustling Mares.
Mares would have his moments though when he was able to entice Santa Cruz into a close quarters battle. It was really just a case of not enough of those moments for Mares.
As the fight wore on and the championship rounds begun, the intensity grew and the raucous crowd at the Staples Center loved it. They came to their feet at the start of the final round and the fighters gave them plenty more to cheer about in a hellacious three-minutes, making for an entertaining conclusion in this instant classic.
While Mares had some good moments in rounds 9 and 12, he simply lost too many of the middle rounds to walk away with the victory. Santa Cruz improves to 35-1-1 & now holds the WBC diamond belt and the WBA featherweight championship.