By Miguel Rivera
According to promoter Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports, an announcement is getting very close for the mandatory rematch between WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz and challenger Abner Mares.
Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) scored a knockdown on pace to winning a twelve round split decision over Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) to win the WBA’s "regular" featherweight title December 10 at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) avenged a majority decision defeat to Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) by winning a majority decision in their 12-round rematch January 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Santa Cruz, the WBA’s super world featherweight champion, also overcame Mares by majority decision in their 12-round fight in August 2015 at Staples Center. The fight had plenty of fireworks and a rematch is expected to have the same.
At first, the two fighters appeared to be heading in separate directions, with Santa Cruz considering the possibility of a trilogy with Frampton, but then the World Boxing Association ordered Santa Cruz and Mares to fight each other in order to eliminate one of the featherweight belts.
"We are working hard to make the announcement on the Santa Cruz and Mares fight. So far everything looks great, we are just waiting to get everything to make it official," said Schaefer to ESPN Deportes.
Santa Cruz and Mares are both advised by Al Haymon and fight under the Premier Boxing Champions banner.
The Showtime televised fight was originally targeted for September 9th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But there was a direct conflict with the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez rematch, being televised by HBO, taking place at StubHub Center in nearby Carson.
AEG, which owns both venues, worked out a deal where Santa Cruz vs. Mares would get pushed back to a date of October 7, at Staples.