At a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday,Golden Boy Promotions formally announced a world championship doubleheader that will take place at StubHub Center (formerly The Home Depot Center) inCarson, California on August 27.
In the main event to be televised on Showtime Three-Time and Three-Division World Champion Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO’s), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Featherweight World Championship against former Two-Division Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO’s), of Mexico City.
Former IBF Bantamweight Champion Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz(24-0-1, 14 KO’s), of Los Angeles, by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, will challenge WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO’s), of Guadalajara, in the opening bout of the telecast.
Below is what the boxers, Golden Boy Vice President and Matchmaker Eric Gomez, who emceed the press conference, and Mares’ manager Frank Espinoza said on Thursday:
Abner Mares, WBC Featherweight Champion
"This is going to be a tough fight for both of us, but a great fight for the fans. I want tough fights and I want to fight the best. I want to give the fans nothing but great fights. I proved against Ponce De Leon that I could carry my power to this weight class.
"Jhonny Gonzlez and I go back a long ways. We were once both trained by Nacho Beristain. I was one of Jhonny’s sparring partners in Big Bear, Calif., before his fight against Israel Vazquez, but that was a long time ago (2006) and look at where we are now. I’m the champion and defending against him.
"I’m really looking forward to this fight and this challenge. Jhonny’s a tough boxer-puncher. He has almost 60 pro fights. I know he’s coming with everything he has.
"I really want to thank my beautiful wife and two children, my promoter, Golden Boy, who signed me and made me a three-time world champion, my manager, Frank Espinoza, who’s been with me every step of the way, and SHOWTIME. Without SHOWTIME, people would have never heard of me.
"I hope to continue to make a name for myself on August 24 and look forward to fighting again on SHOWTIME in front of my hometown fans."
Jhonny Gonzalez, Former Two-Division World Champion
"I just want to thank Abner Mares for taking this challenge and taking this fight. Abner Mares is a great fighter and that is why he’s the world champion."
Leo Santa Cruz, Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion
"I feel very happy and motivated to get the opportunity to become a world champion again. I always wanted to be a world champion in multiple weight classes that fans would remember and always follow. It’s an honor to fight for the WBC title. It was always one of my dreams.
"I’m training very hard because I know this is going to be a dangerous fight. I’m fighting a very tough guy who likes to keep the pressure on.
"I think taking some time off between fights has helped me a lot because I feel re-energized. I feel very strong.
"The only pressure on me when I fight is the pressure I put on myself to please the fans. They’re who I fight for. I want them to see tremendous action and great fights each time [I fight]. I really want to give them what they want. I never want to disappoint them.
"When I hear fans say they like me, it only encourages me to work harder and show them what I’ve got. I have a long ways to go, but the hard work has been paying off so far and I think I’m doing OK."
Eric Gomez, Vice President & Matchmaker, Golden Boy Promotions
"This is a one-punch knockout fight.
"Abner Mares has always said, ’just line the fighters up,’ and that’s what a matchmaker loves to hear.
"Abner’s been on a phenomenal eight or nine fight run. I don’t think anyone in boxing has had one like it. When you have an Abner Mares fight, you just know it’s going to be an exciting fight.
"We sold out in Carson the last time (Marcos Maidana vs. Josesito Lopez and Alfredo Angulo vs. Erislandy Lara) and hopefully we’ll sell out again. StubHub Center is one of the very best venues in the world to see fights."
Frank Espinoza, Mares’ Manager
"To get to the level where we are, you fight the best, and Abner has fought all the best and that’s why he’s considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Jhonny Gonzalez is just another one of those great fighters, a former world champion, who we’ll face. Abner’s fought anybody and everybody.
"Stubhub Center is going to be filled with fireworks. You’ll feel the adrenaline and not just with Abner and Jhonny. What an amazing undercard. It’s going to be an incredible night."
July 12, 2013