Santa Cruz: I Want To Fight Russell Jr.

Although Leo Santa Cruz is focused on defending his WBA “super” featherweight title against “regular” champion Abner Mares on June 9, Santa Cruz said he would love to fight WBC champion Gary Russell Jr.

During a media workout, Santa Cruz said he’s ready to unify the featherweight division, but also believes he will have the upper hand in a fight against Russell Jr. The two world champions had already fought once back when they were both amateurs, but Santa Cruz said he knows what to do to avoid history repeating itself.

“I am ready to unify with any of the featherweight champions. Me and Gary Russell Jr. fought in the amateurs. He beat me but it was a good fight and I believe I can beat him,” Santa Cruz said.

“I know the tactics I’d use [in a fight against Russell Jr.]. Hopefully I can get my rematch.”

The feeling is mutual for Russell Jr. In an interview with Showtime after his unanimous decision victory over Joseph Diaz, Russell Jr. said he has been interested in unifying featherweight titles for years and wants to pursue one against the winner of Santa Cruz vs. Mares for the WBA title.

Santa Cruz vs. Mares for the WBA featherweight title will headline a Showtime Championship Boxing telecast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 9.

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