By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is putting the finishing touches on a Showtime televised doubleheader, featuring two world title fights, on August 24th at the StubHub Center (previously known as the Home Depot Center) in Carson, California.
In the main event, a deal is close for Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14KOs) to make the first defense of his WBC featherweight championship against former beltholder Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 36KOs). Mares captured the title on May 4th, in the Mayweather-Guerrero co-feature with a ninth round TKO of Daniel Ponce De Leon, who captured the title from Gonzalez in September with an eight round technical decision. Gonzalez believed he was heading in the direction of a rematch with Ponce, but Mares' victory forced a change of plans. Gonzalez has won two in a row since the Ponce loss.
"We are discussing the fight. The fight is not done yet, but it's close. Gonzalez is a very dangerous puncher so you can never count him out. One of the best one-punch hitters in the sport, but Abner Mares is not afraid to fight anyone and he doesn't have any problem facing Gonzalez or any other top fighter, and I believe he's proved that to the public and the experts," said Mares' manager Frank Espinoza to BoxingScene.com.
In the co-feature, WBC super bantamweight champion Victor Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs) will make the first defense of his title against mandatory challenger Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14KOs). Terrazas captured the belt in April with a close twelve round split decision over Cristian Mijares in Mexico City. Santa Cruz recently vacated his IBF bantamweight belt and made his debut at 122-pounds on the Mayweather-Guerrero card on May 4th, where he demolished veteran Alexander Munoz in five.
Golden Boy secured the rights to Terrazas-Santa Cruz after winning the purse bid with a monetary amount of $526,000. Zanfer Promotions, who guide the career of Terrazas, bid $451,000. Terrazas will receive 75%, $368,200, of the bid, and Santa Cruz will get $157,800. Golden Boy was represented at the bid by Ramiro "El Dinero" Gonzalez, who many now regard as the pound-for-pound king of purse bids.
"These are two very well matched fights, they are two fights that are going to be toe-to-toe battles and these are four proud Mexican warriors. This is as good as it gets. And it's taking place at the 'Mecca of Boxing West' - the StubHub Center, formerly known as the Home Depot Center. Somehow that venue always brings the best out of the fighters and really brings the crowd into it - just like we had a few weeks ago. I think we'll have another sellout and it's going to be a very big night in Carson," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Most insiders were under the impression that either Mares or Santa Cruz would end up on huge Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez card on September 14th or the Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse clash being discussed for September 7th. Schaefer indicates that further surprises are going to be revealed in the coming weeks.
"Wait until you see. The question will be - "what's going to happen? what's going to happen on September 7 and what's going to happen on September 14?" I may have some more surprises in store. We in the sport to make fight cards that are real events for the fans. When you go to a restaurant you don't want to start with old bread that is hard and tastes like sh*t or go through a bad appetizer where you are going to have the runs afterwards. If you go out to eat, you want to have a meal where you are going to enjoy every single course. The same thing is true for fights fans watching at home, they want to enjoy every single fight," Schaefer said.
"And we want to make events where there is a great, great main event and it is supported by fights which on other networks, and for other promoters, would be [considered] main events. That's what we're all about, that's what you're going to see and that's what you've been seeing with Golden Boy events over the last twelve months. They are events, real events, and not just one fight."