By Carlos Boogs
Sources with knowledge of the negotiations have advised BoxingScene.com that a deal was finalized for the overdue battle between Southern California rivals Abner Mares (29-1-1 and 15 knockouts) and Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1 and 17 knockouts).
The fight has been set for August 29th at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Premier Boxing Champions will showcase the fight on either ESPN or NBC.
The fight has been talked about for several years and was close to getting made when both fighters were under Golden Boy Promotions in 2013. But then Mares, a former three division world champion, suffered an unexpected first round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez. Mares has won three in a row since.
Discussions went cold for a while - until Mares parted ways with longtime manager Frank Espinoza and signed on with adviser Al Haymon, who also works with Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz moved up to the featherweight division earlier this year. This would already be the third fight of 2015 for the always active Santa Cruz. Mares has only been in action once so far in the last six months.