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  Santa Cruz Defeats Mares Again;
Charlo Over Trout In Majority Win


By Lynn Satkin
Photos: Marlene Marquez

 

A large crowd of 12,505 came down to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA for the Showtime event and there were a lot of fights to see – 10 to be exact. There were three titles on the line in two fights.

The WBA World super featherweight belt as well as the WBC Diamond featherweight title in 12 scheduled rounds. Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, (35-1-1, 19 KOs) already the holder of that WBA belt, took on Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) in a rematch of their fight from 2015.
 

Mares started off very fast but it took no time for Santa Cruz to catch right up. From there, the rest of the round was full of action and both men were able to connect with their punches. It was only the second round and we already had a brawl going on.

At the end of four rounds it was hard from ringside to know who had the clear advantage. They were both doing their jobs. The rounds were flying by. Near the end of the seventh round Mares landed a really good combination of body shots.
 

These two featherweights were giving it all. There was no back up or giving in; as the rounds went by thee fighters just got tougher. In the eleventh, Mares must have felt that he needed to do more and he went on the attack the entire round. It was the first time that he seemed to put a cap on Leo. We moved into the twelfth and final.

The last round was everything we had seen up until then, and the fans were eating it up. These two left it all in the ring for us and we went to the scorecards. We had a unanimous decision. The judges saw it 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 all for Santa Cruz. This was a particularly special victory for Leo.
 

“I dedicated this fight to my father. My dad is a true champion.

“The people will decide if they want (Abner and I) to fight again. We can do it here in L.A. If they want it I’ll give him the third fight, but I beat him twice. This time I fought a little bit smarter. I used my reach more. Mares is a tough fighter. But I want to unify the belts, and I want to prove that I’m one of the best. To do that I have to fight the champions.”
 

The WBC Super welterweight title was on the line in this fight that was to go a scheduled 12 as the man with the belt Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) faced off against Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KOs). Charlo was making his third defense of the title.

The first round produced some boos early on as the fans did not think enough punches were being thrown. That spurred Charlo on a bit, as he went on the attack and pounced on Trout. But that was the only significant part of the first round.
 

About midway through the third round Charlo got Trout against the ropes and dropped him with a barrage of punches. He got up and was able to land a few back before the bell ended the round.

The sixth was a good round for Trout. He seemed to have warmed up and was more active, and the seventh round was the same. Austin’s biggest problem is that he didn’t seem to have the goods to really damage Jermell, let along put him on the canvas.

Charlo came back a bit once again in the eighth and remained in control. A punch that Trout said was behind the head and looked that way, dropped Austin in the opening seconds of round nine for the second time in the fight.
 

Trout was able to land a lot of punches in the eleventh round, but it was the same as before – none of them really had any effect on Charlo. Austin had a decent final round, as the fans booed again. We went to the scorecards. One score was surprisingly, after two knockdowns by Charlo on Trout, a 113-113 draw, while the others had Charlo on top, 115-111 and 118-108, making the fight a majority decision and allowing Jermell to keep that WBC belt.

Super featherweights Karlos Balderas (5-0, 4 KOs) and Alex Silva (3-8, 2 KOs) faced off in a bout scheduled for six rounds. Balderas, a 2016 Olympian, was the better fighter from the beginning, but he got stung with a body shot. As Silva jumped into finish the job however, Karlos landed a perfect left, dropping Alex. A few seconds later, Balderas landed a great body shot of his own, putting Silva down and out at 2:25 of that very first round.

Jose Balderas (3-0) took on Luis Montellano (0-2-1) in a super bantamweight fight that was scheduled to go four rounds. Balderas was on fire in the opener. He was able to land at will and displayed his talents. Jose continued to just tattoo Luis in the second, but Montellano was able to remain standing.

Montellano came out swinging in the third and actually landed some punches, but soon began to miss his target and seemed to have punched himself out. Luis lost his mouthpiece near the end of this last round due to a crisp right hand by Jose. We went to the scorecards. All of the judges were in agreement, 40-36, giving the victory to Balderas.

Women took to the ring for this light flyweight fight that was scheduled for four, two-minute rounds Lina Licona made pro debut against Britteny Horton (0-2) The smaller but very feisty Licona got Horton on the ropes and just pounded her until she went down. She tried to do it again, but the bell ended the round.

A series of very hard left hands by Lina caused referee Ray Corona to jump in and wave the fight off at :45 seconds of the third round. This was a great debut for Lina, posting her first win by KO.

Angel Alejandro (3-0, 1 KO) faced off against Eric Rocha (1-4). This fight was scheduled for four rounds in the bantamweight division. There was nothing that Alejandro did not connect with in the first round.

Angel was having his way once again with Eric in the third, but Rocha managed to remain on his feet. We moved into the fourth and final round. Again this round was all Alejandro. Still, we went to the scorecards. All of the judges saw the fight the same, 40-36, all for Alejandro.

Welterweights Brian Jones (14-9, 8 KOs) and Ivan Redkach (21-4-1, 16 KOs) went up against each other for a scheduled eight rounds. At the end of the eighth and final round both men raised their hands in victory, but we had to go to the scorecards to find out. The judges had all different scores, but with the same man winning. Those scores were 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75 all for Redkach.

Jose Gomez (11-0, 4 KOs) stood across the ring from Ryan Allen (5-2-1, 3 KOs) in a fight that was scheduled for six rounds in the junior lightweight division. This was a hard-fought little bout that had a lot of action throughout. In the end, after a tough final round battle, Gomez got the split decision victory. The scores were 59-55 and 58-56 for Gomez and an interesting 59-55 for Allen.

Jerry Perez (7-0, 5 KOs) went up against a very over-matched Josh Ross (3-8-5) in a fight scheduled for six rounds in the lightweight division right at the bell a little well-;placed right hand dropped Ross. At the end of the second round Josh went down again, and in the third he was on the canvas one more time. At that point the fight was over at 2:02 of that third round, as Ross had had enough.

Opening up the afternoon we saw Leo Santa Cruz’ younger brother Antonio Santa Cruz (7-4, 3 KOs) go up against Jordan Baletero Reyes (2-7, 2 KOs). This fight was in the bantamweight division and was scheduled for four rounds. Both men were quite active in the opening round and did a good job of landing punches.

In the final two rounds there was some good head and body shots displayed by both fighters, and even though nobody was knocked down they definitely got in their licks. We went to the judges scorecards. All three judges had the fight for the same fighter. They saw it 40-36 twice and 39-37, all for Santa Cruz.

We were also treated to a nice dinner and a press conference that featured Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) and his opponent Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) who were there to talk about their fight on July 28 right back at Staples Center.



 

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