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Santa Cruz beats Mares again for WBA feather belt

By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

In an all-out war, Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19KO) retained his WBA featherweight title and won the WBC Diamond featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15KO) in a rematch of their 2015 bout.

Not much was different in the rematch than the original bout with the two standing toe to toe and letting their fists fly. Santa Cruz, like last time, usually seemed to do just marginally better in the exchanges. Neither fighter seriously hurt the other in a fight that was often quantity of punches over quality of punches.

By the final bell, it wasn’t much in dispute that Santa Cruz was the winner although it was a competitive and highly spirited bout that thrilled the 12,505 fans in attendance. By scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112, Santa Cruz was the unanimous decision winner. Following the bout, Santa Cruz said he would next like to fight Gary Russell Jr.

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