Leo Media Day

Photo by Tarrah Zael

Leo Santa Cruz Loading Up in L.A. for Title Rematch with Abner Mares



By Tarrah Zael


WBA featherweight champion, Leo Santa Cruz showcased his readiness for his June 9th rematch against Abner Mares at his media day workout yesterday at his gym, City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles, CA.


“I want to leave everything in the ring- and I want to remain champion” says Santa Cruz, “We are 100% ready, we’ve been doing 13 rounds of sparring” said Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KO) who won a majority decision over Abner Mares (32-2-1, 15 KO) back in August 2015.


When asked what the difference in his training for this fight than his last, Leo states, “In this camp, I feel a lot stronger, lighter, more conditioning, everything is better. And my dad has been telling me that I look a lot better.”


Leo’s demeanor was very calm when talking to the media in regard to his father. Santa Cruz’ father and trainer, Jose Santa Cruz has been with his son every step of the way for this fight despite his ongoing battle with cancer. When hitting the heavy bag, His father stood next to him giving him instruction to correct his stance and punching technique.


Despite the visible pain his father is in, 29-year-old Leo Santa Cruz says it gives him more motivation and determination to win this fight for him. “I look at my him and see that my dad is in so much pain but he’s still in the gym supporting me and telling me what to do and how to fight”.


For the last two and a half years, Abner Mares has been training with Robert Garcia. When asked of any concerns about Mares with Garcia, given the fact that Santa Cruz was formerly trained for fights by him in the past, Santa Cruz responded, “Mares and me are the only ones going to be in the ring, so I don’t think Robert Garcia is going to be able to help him”.


Moreover, “Robert Garcia is a great trainer and everything, but I don’t think there’s going to much of a difference”. Leo Santa Cruz does give Robert Garcia credit working with Abner Mares as he states that “he has made Mares a better fighter and smarter; but we do the same”.


Leo Santa Cruz states after his win with Mares he wants to move up a weight class, “I want to unify this belt and go up to 130 lbs. to be a four-division world champion- that’s the goal”. With high expectations to give an exciting fight were definitely looking forward to Leo Santa Cruz’ battle against Abner Mares, “you guys won’t be disappointed” smiles Santa Cruz. The world title rematch will be on June 9th 2018 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Showtime will televise the event promoted by Premier Boxing Champions.