By Miguel Rivera
In theory, everything was ready to go for the fall rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. The fight was being lined up for September 9 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and both sides were just waiting for promoter Richard Schaefer to give the go-ahead and make the announcement official.
However, plans could change.
Leo's father and head trainer, Jose Santa Cruz, has indicated that he will ask manager Al Haymon for interim-fight for his son, before the rematch with Mares takes place. Haymon also manages Mares.
Santa Cruz won a twelve round decision over Mares in a very exciting fight in August 2015.
The World Boxing Association has ordered them to fight again to establish a single featherweight world champion in their organization, as Santa Cruz is the WBA's "super" champion and Mares holds the WBA "regular" title at 126.
"I think we're going to have a fight with someone else beforehand, and if we win, then yes we'll fight with Mares," Jose Santa Cruz told ESPN Deportes.
"The truth is we do not know who the opponent is right now, it will probably be the same date of September 9, but we hope to talk to Haymon today and he will tell us. The problem is that Leo has gone four months without doing anything, and we want him to first have a fight, and if we win then we'll go with Mares. Leo has already returned to the gym and is training very hard."
Santa Cruz (33-1, 18 KOs) was in action back in January, when he got a measure of revenge with a close twelve round decision win over Carl Frampton to capture the WBA belt at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Last year in Brooklyn, Frampton won a close decision over Santa Cruz.
Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) has been out of the ring since winning his version of the WBA title with a victory over Jesus Cuellar last December.