For weeks now rumors have been circulating that a huge fight between WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KO's) and fellow Mexican contender Abnar Mares (29-1-1, 15 KO's) has been brewing behind the scenes. Dan Rafeal from ESPN made light to the rumor by stating that that fight could land on ESPN August 29th for the new PBC on ESPN series. The fight however isn't set in stone.
Both fighter's have taken a lot of slack over the last two years. Leo Santa Cruz came up storming through the ranks with a bang. It was almost certain that he would be a huge Mexican star as he pummeled his opposition. However, in the last two years Santa Cruz's lack of formidable opponents have turned the public eye away from him. Unlike someone like Gennady Golovkin who is having a hard time getting fights, Santa Cruz is in a weight class of stacked fighters where big fights could have been made over the last two years. His fan base has dwindled because of his choice of opposition. A fight against Mares could begin to change that.
Abner Mares was another Mexican fighter on his way to stardom. His path changed a little differently. Mares was gaining steam through the ranks before running into veteran Johnny Gonzalez, who managed to ice Mares with a first round KO victory in August of 2013 all but halting his rise. The shocking KO loss would leave Mares out for almost a year before returning to the ring against Jonathan Oquendo. Mares looked less than great giving thoughts to the questions that the knockout loss to Gonzalez could be a career changer.
While the fight isn't set in stone yet it's almost certain to happen. It's one that both fighter's need to get back on track with the fans that they made along the way. Fans that they lost, fans that question their skills, and fans that they would like to gain. Each fighter has been exciting to watch throughout their careers and a match up against each other is almost certain to be explosive. And what better way for two Mexican fighter's that have lost some favor with the fans over the years to regain that stardom by squaring off against each other in a primetime slot?