Abner Mares is eager to seek redemption when he faces WBA Featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz when they rematch at the at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on June 9
Speaking at a press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday to discuss their world championship rematch Mares said: “This is going to be another great one. Leo Santa Cruz is a great person and a humble guy. You have to be the bad guy against Leo. I could talk about what I’m going to do in the ring, but my fists and my brain will do the work for me.
“Once we get in the ring, you already know what it’s going to be. It was war from the first bell last time. Nothing could stop either of us. We pleased the fans and gave them a great night. This is going to be the same thing. We’re two young fighters, fighting for pride.
Mares added: “The fight is here now and it’s official. I’m eager to get this win and get redemption. There were things I could have done that would have made the fight easier for myself. Once you get in there, I know we all have a plan, but once you hear the crowd, it can go out the window. I’m a warrior and that type of fighter who’s looking to get the win no matter what.
“I’m not worried about the decision in the first fight. I think he landed the clearer punches but it was definitely a close fight. I was happy with my performance as far as pleasing the crowd. I’ve moved on to the rematch. I’m going to make adjustments and get the win.
“I can talk about how I’ve changed, but you just need to look at my last two performances. People thought Jesus Cuellar was going to knock me out, but I was the one who dropped him That lets you know what type of team I have and what kind of Abner Mares you will see on June 9.
“It feels good to be back fighting Leo for the second time at Staples Center. Every time I fight here in Los Angeles the people show me love. This is my hometown and Staples Center is my house.
“I’ve always seen holes in Leo’s game that I can take advantage of. It’s a matter of going in there with the perfect game plan. I feel like there’s no way I can lose this fight. That makes it a more exciting fight. If he wants to box, I’m more natural than him doing that. We’ll see who’s done their homework and who can translate it to the ring.”
Below is what Mares Trainer Robert Garcia had to say about his fighter’s rematch against Santa Cruz on June 9
“I was there live for the first fight and it was a great matchup. I knew then that Abner was much better than the fight he gave that night. He left the fans happy, which is all that matters to him. But with me in the corner, it should be a different fight.
“I think the fans have seen what we’ve done with Abner for his last two fights and they know that it’s going to lead to a totally different outcome in this fight.
“Abner tried to blitz Leo from the first bell and he knows that was a mistake. Leo is a tremendous fighter and you can never count Leo out. He takes a great punch and throws a lot. I think working with me for three years now will work out in Abner’s favor.
“Leo always goes out and pleases the crowd. That’s what he loves to do. It’s my job to get Abner to fight smart and not focus on the crowd. He has to focus on what I’m telling him. I’ll do what I have to to make sure he is.
“We’ve been training already for a little over a month. Sparring will start next week. Having Abner in the gym, we’ve taken his strength and conditioning to a level where he’s really doing the right work. He’s giving me good work each day so I know he’s focused.”