By Steve Kim
Fights are being penciled in for the 2018 boxing schedule, and the rematch between WBA featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz, and challenger Abner Mares is still looking for a date and venue.
The fight has been ordered by the World Boxing Association, because Santa Cruz is the "super" champion for the sanctioning body at 126-pounds, while Mares holds the "regular" title at the same weight. Their bout was regulated to establish a single WBA belthodler at the weight as the sanctioning body looks to reduce their number of titles per division.
The rematch had basically been announced after the duo co-headlined a card on October 14th at the StubHub Center, where they both notched victories.
Richard Schaefer, the head of Ringstar Promotions, said he spoke to Mares on December 15th in Lancaster, California, where a card that was televised on FS1 took place.
"(Mares) said, 'look, that's the fight I want,' and both guys have agreed to fight each other," explained Schaefer to BoxingScene.com.
"So he's been talking to Al (Haymon) as well. I've been talking to Al to get that finalized. I tell you where we stand: I don't think it's a matter of deal terms. I think it's a matter of getting the right date, the right venue. That's a fight that obviously screams Staples Center all over it. And frankly we're getting some dates from the Staples Center and then we can go back to Showtime and get that cleared."
Back when Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KO's) defeated Mares (31-2-1, 15 KO's) in their first encounter back on August 29th, 2015, that event was staged at the Staples Center, best known for being the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.
"As you know the Staples Center is the busiest building in the United Staes with four professional teams playing there," said Schaefer. "So it's not easy but we are trying to get it done for April, May - whenever we can get it done."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com