3 More Rounds

Mares, Santa Cruz fired up

Photo: Abel Madrid

Photo: Abel Madrid

In the lead up to their hotly anticipated bout, Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz fielded punches from the media on a conference call this week.

“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for many years, many years fans have been excited, I’ve been wanting to fight,” said Mares during the call. “I’ve been calling out Leo this whole year, called him out on radio shows, in person. And it’s finally here. I’m really, really excited to fight.

A fight between the two had been talked about for some time but for whatever reason, never materialized until now.  Mares gave his take on not fighting sooner.

“It could have [been sooner] but you know things happen for a reason and fights get made at weird times for business issues, but I think it’s the perfect time for both. Leo has more experience, he’s been fighting great, and myself, after my defeat, I’ve fought three times and my mindset is there. So I think it’s a perfect time for both.”

Added Mares, “I want to just go and prove that I’m the better fighter coming up on August 29th, and I personally just want to go out and prove that I’m superior.”

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

Photo: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

Santa Cruz, who would come on the call later on, talked about getting the opportunity to be in the main event for the first time in his career.

“It’s the first time I’m the main event, and then also because it’s the first time I’m going to fight a fighter that’s on a big level, like the fans said, they wanted me to fight a fighter that is at the elite level fighter, and I think Mares right now is the hardest opponent I ever faced,” said Santa Cruz. “So that plus me being the main event is like the same excitement as I’m fighting for a world title.”

Asked about what a win would do for him, Santa Cruz said, “As I go ahead and move up to 126, I want to prove to everyone that I am worthy and am in the upper echelon in the featherweight division. I want to go after world title at 126, and I know I could do so by fighting and doing very well and winning against Abner Mares.

“I think the fans are going to be like 50/50, half for him, half for me. I think it’s going to be evenly divided. I think the fans are going to be divided between both of us. Half of them are going to be cheering for him, half for me.

But yes whoever I think puts on the better fight the fans are going to root for at the end. It’s really hard to get up in the ring and put on the great fights the fans will love. I want to give the fans that.”

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