Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz ready to rumble Aug. 29 at Staples Center

Leo Santa Cruz, left, and Abner Mares engage in the traditional staredown following their news conference Tuesday at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood/Photo by Craig Bennett, TGB Promotions


LYNWOOD – Fights between L.A.-area boxers have always commanded a lot of attention, especially when they are contested in Los Angeles. Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens and Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights will be hard-pressed to live up to Danny “Little Red” Lopez-Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon in 1974 at the Sports Arena and Albert “Tweety” Davila-Frankie Duarte in 1977 at the Olympic Auditorium.

But they figure to give it a heck of a try.

Mares and Santa Cruz on Tuesday at Plaza Mexico played host to a news conference to formally announce their Aug. 29 featherweight fight at Staples Center (on

Mares has won titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Santa Cruz has won championships in the bantamweight and super
bantamweight divisions.

There will be no major belt on the line in this one. With their credentials, it doesn’t matter.

“This is the biggest fight of my career – I think the biggest and the hardest,” said the 26-year-old Santa Cruz, who attended Lincoln High. “And to fight here at Staples Center in my hometown is a big privilege and an honor for me.

“So I have to leave everything on the line. I have to be 100 percent prepared. He has a lot of fans here, too, in Southern California. I think (it will be) like 50-50, so this fight is going to show who is the king of L.A.”

The aforementioned fights from yesteryear were mentioned to Mares. He then made a bold statement about this fight.

“It’s up there, man, it’s up there,” said Mares, 29; he attended Artesia High. “I’m not just saying it. I think we’re going to prove it come Aug. 29. Leo Santa Cruz is not known for being a guy that holds, he’s not known for his boxing skills, he’s just known for a fighter that comes forward and throws a volume of punches, and vice versa.

“I’m known as a warrior, I’m known as a guy that’s been in many fights, many wars. So I think when you two put fighters like that with those styles, it just turns out to be one of the best fights in decades. I think it’s going to turn out to be one of those (Arturo) Gatti-(Micky) Ward-type fights.”

The two sparred together some years ago, but neither would say he got the better of the other. There were some comments that seemed to stir a pot that could be
boiling by Aug. 29.

Mares is 29-1-1 with 15 knockouts. After making the only defense of his super bantamweight belt with a victory over Anselmo Moreno, Mares moved up in weight and took the featherweight title from Daniel Ponce De Leon on May 2013 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

But Mares was knocked out in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez at StubHub Center that August. Mares has since won three consecutive fights, though he has not been overly impressive. Santa Cruz believes Mares is not the same fighter he was before the Gonzalez fight.

“I have seen his last three fights and, no, he hasn’t been the same guy as before,” Santa Cruz said. “But he knows this is a really important fight and he
knows that he has a lot to lose in this fight, so I know he’s going to come prepared.”

Of the left hook Gonzalez landed that hurt Mares so badly, Santa Cruz went so far as to say, “It looks like he still has that punch right there in his head.”

Mares scoffed.

“My response to that is that, keep thinking that,” Mares said. “I’m not going to tell him otherwise. Keep thinking that. He’s going to have his thoughts in his mind, you know, that are brought to him by his team.

“He should be concentrating more about what I’m bringing to the ring, than what I’m thinking about my defeat, you know what I’m  saying?”

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Ireland’s Jason Quigley stops Tom Howard in the second round

Jason Quigley/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


Ireland’s Jason Quigley, who had a fine career as an amateur, is now 7-0 with seven knockouts as a pro after stopping Tom Howard midway through the second round of their super middleweight fight Saturday at the L.A. Sports Arena.

The bout was scheduled for six rounds and was contested underneath the Mauricio Herrera-Hank Lundy junior welterweight main event.

Quigley, who in 2013 won a silver medal at middleweight for Ireland in the World Championships in Kazakhstan, decked Howard twice in the second round before referee Tom Taylor waved off the bout at 1:21. Howard, of Biloxi, Miss., is 8-4.

Quigley, 24, left Ireland for California a year ago to turn pro. He resides in Marina del Rey.

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Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas make weight for Saturday’s fight

Timothy Bradley/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas both weighed in at 146.4 pounds Friday for their vacant interim welterweight title showdown that will take place Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson.

HBO will televise the Top Rank Inc. card.

Bradley, 31, is 31-1-1 with 12 knockouts. He is a former junior welterweight and welterweight champion.

Vargas, 26, is 26-0 with nine knockouts. He is a former junior welterweight champion moving up in weight.

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South El Monte’s Joseph Diaz Jr. added to July 11 card at Sports Arena

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced that featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr., a 2012 U.S. Olympian from South El Monte, has been added to the July 11 card at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (on HBO Latino).

Diaz, 22, is 16-0 with 10 knockouts. His opponent has yet to be determined.

Hank Lundy will take on Mauricio Herrera (21-5, 7 KOs) of Riverside in the junior welterweight main event. Lundy, of Philadelphia, is 25-4-1 with 12 knockouts.


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Dominic Breazeale stops Cuban Yasmany Consuegra in third round

Dominic Breazeale/Photo courtesy of TGB Promotions


Heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale wanted to display his wares in front of a lot of people. He got his wish Saturday, and the endeavor was a success.

Breazeale figured to be in his toughest fight since turning pro in 2012 when he squared off with Yasmany Consuegra of Cuba in the semi-main event underneath the Robert Guerrero-Aron Martinez main event at StubHub Center. Consuegra dominated the first round and most of the second before being decked very late in the second with a shot to the top of the head.

Breazeale floored Consuegra two more times in the third with clubbing punches to the head. Breazeale yelled at Consuegra to, “Get up, get up.” Consuegra (17-1) did, but referee Wayne Hedgepeth waved off the bout at 1:49, Breazeale getting credit for a third-round TKO.

Breazeale (15-0, 14 KOs) is a 2012 U.S. Olympian out of Alhambra.

“I knew I had the opportunity with millions of people watching on NBC to make a statement, and I believe I made a statement,” said Breazeale, 29. “I knew he was very badly hurt at the end of the second round and I was surprised he came out for the third.”

Breazeale was asked why he was yelling at Consuegra to “get up.”

“Wasn’t done with him,” he said. “Just barely got started. I wanted to ice him.”

Guerrero (33-3-1) won a 10-round split-decision over Martinez (19-4-1).

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Norwalk’s Oscar Molina still perfect after win over Todd Manuel

Oscar Molina/Photo courtesy of TGB Promotions

Oscar Molina (13-0, 10 KOs) of Norwalk remained undefeated by pounding out a one-sided unanimous decision over Todd Manuel in an eight-round super welterweight bout underneath the Robert Guerrero-Aron Martinez main event Saturday at Stub-Hub Center. Molina decked Manual in the first round, but Manuel hung tough.

“I give myself a C,” said Molina, who won by scores of 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73. “I was loading up a little bit too much on my punches. After I knocked him down I got a little anxious. I wanted to stop him right away.”

Manuel, if Crowley, La., is 10-6-1.

Guerrero (33-3-1) won a split-decision over Martinez (19-4-1) and Dominic Breazeale (15-0, 14 KOs) had a third-round TKO of Yasmany Consuegra (17-1) of Cuba in the heavyweight semi-main event.

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Daniel Geale makes 157-pound weight limit to challenge Miguel Cotto

Boxers Miguel Cotto, left, and Daniel Geale pose

Miguel Cotto, left, and Daniel Geale will tangle for Cotto’s middleweight title on Saturday in New York City/Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press


There had been concern about whether Daniel Geale of Australia would be able to make the 157-pound weight limit for his challenge to middleweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

No problem. Geale on Friday weighed in right at 157, meaning he will be able to walk out of the ring with the belt should he emerge victorious.

The middleweight limit is 160 pounds, but Cotto insisted on a catch-weight of three pounds under that. Cotto, who certainly is not a true middleweight, weighed just 153 1/2 pounds Friday, which is actually a half-pound under the junior middleweight limit.

The fight will be televised by HBO.

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Alhambra heavyweight Dominic Breazeale set for Yasmany Consuegra

Dominic Breazeale hits the speed bad/Photo courtesy of TGB Promotions


Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra is 14-0 with 13 knockouts since turning pro in November 2012 after competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. But Breazeale has not fought anyone of note.

Breazeale on Saturday will face what figures to be his toughest opponent when he squares off with Yasmany Consuegra of Miami via Cuba in a daytime card at StubHub Center (on NBC). Consuegra is 17-0 with 14 knockouts.

Breazeale, 29, is looking forward to the challenge.

“Definitely toughest competition to date thus far,” he said. “Definitely. Yasmany is 17-0, 14 KOs.  One of those guys that steps in the ring with a ton of confidence.  We’re both undefeated fighters and I was extremely excited when I got the call.  … It’s a great setting, a great way to have a stepping-stone to the next level.  I want to be considered the top heavyweight and I guess you’ve got to fight top guys to get there.”



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Amir Khan indicates he was smart enough not to overlook Chris Algieri


Amir Khan/Photo by Paul Thomas, Associated Press


Amir Khan of England had his hands full this past Friday with Chris Algieri, who fought his heart out against Khan in the welterweight main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. From the sound of it, Khan knew Algieri would not be a walk in the park for him. Khan said as much after he earned a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 117-111.

“Chris gave it his all tonight,” Khan said. “This is the best Algieri we’ve seen in a long time, and if he’d have fought Manny (Pacquiao) that way, he might have won.”

Pacquiao won a very lopsided decision over Algieri in November in Macau, China.

Khan has been pining for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He intimated he had to put that out of his head while dealing with Algieri.

“Everyone knows I want Floyd next after all the talk about it, but when you wait and hope for something for this long, it can set you back,” said Khan, who is 31-3 with 19 knockouts. “I don’t want to overlook any other fighters, including Chris.”


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Leo Santa Cruz wins decision over Jose Cayetano in Saturday’s semi-main

The semi-main event Saturday underneath Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao featured super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights taking on Jose Cayetano of Tijuana in a non-title fight in the featherweight division.

Even though Santa Cruz was moving up in weight, he figured to have an easy time of it as Cayetano (17-4) is not in his class. Santa Cruz (30-0-1) did in the sense that he won big on the scorecards – he won by three scores of 100-90. But fans seemed a bit restless that he could not stop Cayetano inside the distance.

There were a few boos.

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