The boxing world is set to get a nice rematch of a fight that left fans wanting more. The 2015 bout between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares featured a whole lot of back and forth, but came down to the finish and featured a decision to decide who won the then-vacant featherweight world title.
While that fight was action packed and filled with excitement, in the end, it was Santa Cruz who won by majority decision to win the title. As you probably could imagine, after such a close fight, Mares almost immediately wanted a rematch. Fortunately, that's going to happen, according to ESPN's Dan Rafael.
Rafael pointed out that the WBA ordered Santa Cruz to make a mandatory defense against Mares, stating the following:
"The WBA on Monday ordered Santa Cruz, the organization's so-called "super" world titleholder, to make a mandatory defense against Mares, the sanctioning body's "regular" titlist, as it continues the process of reducing the number of titles it sanctions. The camps were given 30 days to make a deal, or a purse bid will be ordered."
Mares also sounded off on the decision, stating that he didn't think there'd be any issue with it and also pointing out how badly he's wanted the fight to happen.
"Since we're both under the same management, I don't think there will be any issue with it going to purse bid," Mares told ESPN on Monday. "It's definitely the fight I've been wanting since my defeat. It was a really close fight, a great fight, and now, in a different moment in my career, it's the perfect timing for a rematch. If this happens now, it will be a totally different Abner Mares with a different game plan to get the win this time."
Both Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) and Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) have been nothing short of exceptional to this point in their careers. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when these two get in the ring again with the title on the line, once again.
Obviously, Mares is looking to prove that last time was just a fluke, while Santa Cruz is out to prove that he is indeed the champ and should rightfully hold onto the belt that he won. One thing that's certain is that whenever this fight does happen, it's going to be one worth watching and one that should get a huge audience.