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Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 10/7/17

Mares vs. Santa Cruz

Boxing: Saturday, October 7, 2017 (Staples Center)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Showtime

Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares fight Saturday at the Staples Center for the WBA Super World featherweight title.

Leo Santa Cruz enters this fight with a 33-1-1 record that includes 18 knockouts. Santa Cruz has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a January win over Carl Frampton. Santa Cruz got revenge on Frampton in another tight bout and will defend this belt for a third time. Santa Cruz is 29 years old, stands at 5’7”, has a 69 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Santa Cruz has some of the quicker hands in the sport and is one of the busiest workers in boxing, as he throws a ton of punches and has thrown a combined 1,886 punches in his last two fights. Santa Cruz simply won’t be outworked in the ring and is always going to be the aggressor, making it tough for him to lose a fight if it goes to the judges. While known for his aggressive offense, Santa Cruz is also underrated defensively and rarely take a big shot from his opponent. This will be Santa Cruz’s 15th fight in California, his residence.  

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 10/7/17

USA TODAY Sports

Abner Mares enters this fight with a 30-2-1 record that includes 15 knockouts. Mares has won six of his last eight fights, and he’s coming off a December win over Jesus Andres Cuellar. This will be Mares’ fourth fight since 2015, and he’s defending his WBA (Regular) featherweight title for the first time. Mares is 31 years old, stands at 5’4”, has a 66 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Mares is another boxer who likes to stay busy, as he pressures his opponent with rapid combinations and is constantly trying to work the body. Some would say Mares has dirty tactics, as there’s been numerous headbutts in his fights and he’s been penalized for low blows as well. That still hasn’t changed Mares’ boxing style, as he’s going to swing wherever there’s an opening, and while he doesn’t have a ton of knockout power, that aggressiveness allows him to win on cards more times than not. This will be Mares’ 11th fight in California, his residence.  

The first fight between these two was possibly the best fight of 2015, as there was constant action and a ton of wild swings as the fans went home satisfied. Both of these fighters are aggressive, throw a ton of combinations and it’s clearly a madhouse when they get in the ring together. Hopefully we saw the same here. However, in terms of picking a winner, Santa Cruz is the bigger and lengthier fighter, and that’s key when they did so much boxing on the inside in the last bout. Santa Cruz can lean on the smaller Mares and use his jab to his advantage, which he said won him the first match. These guys have similar styles and workmates, but it’s the size advantage that has me leaning Santa Cruz to win this fight as well.

Close one, but El Terremoto gets the nod.

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