Santa Cruz-Mares Rematch Ordered
World Boxing Association President Gilberto Mendoza Jr. is planning to order the immediate negotiations for a rematch between featherweight champions Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) and Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs).
Santa Cruz is back on top after handing Carl Frampton the first defeat of his pro career in January, with a twelve round majority decision to capture the WBA’s "super" title at 126-pounds.
Last December, Mares put himself back in the mix for major fights after snapping a layoff of more than a year to turn back the odds by winning a twelve round split decision over Jesus Cuellar to capture the WBA’s "regular" version of the featherweight crown.
Mendoza wants to eliminate the issue of multiple WBA titles in every weight division. He started that mission in early 2016 and hopes to establish a single WBA champion in every weight class by the end of this year.
After years of hype, Santa Cruz and Mares fought an all-action battle in August of 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After twelve rounds of a grueling fight, Santa Cruz won a majority decision.
The WBA gave Santa Cruz a few weeks to make a potential deal with Frampton for a trilogy fight, but that now seems unlikely. Because he traveled over to the United States for the first two meetings, Frampton wants the third fight to happen in Belfast – but Santa Cruz is not really willing to make that trip and would rather have that third fight once again on American soil.
"That’s right, this week or the other we are going to order the fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. There had been talk of the rematch with Carl Frampton [and Santa Cruz], but it seems that for now it’s not going to happen, so I hope to announce the negotiations between their teams very soon," Mendoza said to ESPN Deportes.