By Miguel Rivera
In addition to fighting for the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title, Mexicans Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will practically have a WBC eliminator on Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
According to World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, his organization has sanctioned the rematch for the WBC 'Diamond' title at 126-pounds.
Now he wants to make a few moves where the winner would become the mandatory challenger to current WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr.
Russell retained his title last month, with a twelve round unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Joseph Diaz.
"It's a fight for the Diamond title, it's an official WBC fight," said Sulaiman.
"Russell just made his mandatory defense (May 19), but I'm going to try to make the winner a mandatory challenger against Russell, he makes one fight per year and we're going to try to make the winner a challenger."
Back in 2015, also at Staples, Santa Cruz won a close twelve round decision over Mares, who is now trained by veteran coach Robert Garcia.
"It was a magical night at the Staples Center, it is one of the best I've seen, from bell to bell, with dedication, determination, desire to win, very close and good, competitive, of the highest level and surely this second fight will be the same," Sulaiman said. "They are warriors, and they have the open doors of the WBC."
Russell has been very inactive over the last few years with only a single fight averaged since 2015 - due to injuries and delayed returns. He would like to fight again by the end of the year, and in recent years he's targeted both Mares and Santa Cruz. Russell holds a win over Santa Cruz from the amateur ranks. All three fights compete on Showtime and all three of them are advised by Al Haymon.
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