LOS ANGELES - On the verge of becoming boxing's next superstar, Three-Time, Three-Division World Champion and current WBC Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares has remarkably won three divisional world titles in less than two years. On Saturday, August 24, he will return home to Southern California to defend his title against a man hungry to take that belt back, former Two-Division World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez at StubHub Center in Carson in a fight which will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®(10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). Photos by Hoganphotos.
In the co-featured bout, another of the sport's most exciting competitors, former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz, will look to win his second world championship when he challenges WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas.
"I'm looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown fans on August 24 at StubHub Center," said Mares. "Jhonny Gonzalez and I have a lot of respect for each other, but we know what's at stake. I'm confident that we're going to put on an explosive fight that fans will want to see."
"The belt belongs to me," said Gonzalez. "It's time it returns to my waist. I will give it everything I've got on August 24."
"I've made many sacrifices throughout my career to win this belt and I'm not about to give it away," said Terrazas. "It's obvious that Leo Santa Cruz is a talented fighter, but it's going to take more than that for me to go back to Mexico without the belt."
"I'm very honored to be fighting for the WBC world championship and I'm extremely motivated to train hard to take this belt home," said Santa Cruz. "I will not let this opportunity get away from me. I will become world champion once again."
"This doubleheader reminds me of great Los Angeles fight nights when you would see great Mexican fighters battling it out in the ring while the crowd went crazy," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "That's what we have with Mares vs. Gonzalez and Terrazas vs. Santa Cruz...four Mexican warriors fighting not only for a world championship, but for pride."
"Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz are two of the most exciting and fan-friendly fighters in the sport today," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "Mares' fight against the crafty veteran Jhonny Gonzalez is sure to be explosive, as both fighters are known for their warriors' mentalities. This will be Santa Cruz's first world title shot in the super bantamweight division, and he has certainly earned it after dynamic performances in his last few fights. This doubleheader makes it a night not to be missed."
"We're thrilled to once again play host to some of Southern California's top boxing talent," said Katie Pandolfo, General Manager of StubHub Center. "Fight nights at StubHub Center are unlike any other venue and we're proud that we have become a home to some of the best that boxing has to offer. We started the summer off with a record breaking evening of boxing in June and look forward to closing out the season with a bang on August 24."
Mares vs. Gonzalez, a 12-round fight for Mares' WBC Featherweight World Championship, will take place on Saturday, August 24 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Also featured will be a 12-round world championship showdown between WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor Terrazas and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP). Mares vs. Gonzalez is presented in association with Promociones Del Pueblo. Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.
Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, go on sale on Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. PT and will be available for purchase online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. PT to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.
The newest member of boxing's pound for pound fraternity, Hawaiian Gardens, California's Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's) earned his spot there the hard way, battling through adversity and some of the best fighters in the world over the last eight years. A member of the 2004 Mexican Olympic team who originally hails from Guadalajara, Mares won his first world title in 2011 when he defeated Joseph Agbeko for the IBF Bantamweight World Championship. Mares won the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship against Eric Morel less than a year later and, in May of 2013, the 27-year-old knocked out Daniel Ponce De Leon, capturing the WBC Featherweight World Championship. On August 24, he will look to add to his already stellar resume by defending his belt against Gonzalez.
A knockout puncher who has struck fear into the hearts of opponents for years, Mexico City's Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's) is a fan favorite who has won world championships at bantamweight and featherweight while beating the likes of Mark Johnson, Fernando Montiel, Irene Pacheco and Mauricio Pastrana. Since moving to featherweight full-time in 2009, Gonzalez has gone 14-1 with 12 knockouts, with his only loss in the form of a technical decision to Ponce De Leon in September of last year. The winner of two straight who most recently scored a fourth round technical knockout win over Akihiko Katagiri, the 31-year-old veteran plans on testing Mares' chin this August when he attempts to get the title which he lost to Ponce De Leon back.
Unbeaten in his last 11 bouts, Guadalajara's Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's) is one of Mexico's most underrated fighters, but with a win over Santa Cruz this August, the world will know his name. The owner of a 2011 win over Fernando Montiel, Terrazas won the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship this past April by decisioning Cristian Mijares. On August 24, he makes his first defense.
Boxing's latest action hero, 24-year-old Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO's), of Los Angeles, made quite the impression in his super bantamweight debut in May, stopping Alexander Munoz in five rounds. It was a great start at 122 pounds for the former bantamweight king originally from Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, who successfully defended his belt three times over the span of three months before seeking bigger game at super bantamweight.
A full undercard will be announced shortly.