MARES-GONZALEZ, TERRAZAS-SANTA CRUZ ANNOUNCED FOR SHOWTIME
Press Release: WBC featherweight titlist Abner Mares has won three divisional titles in less than two years. On Saturday, August 24, he will return home to Southern California to defend his current title against former two-division titlist Jhonny Gonzalez at StubHub Center in Carson in a fight which will be televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). In the co-feature, ex-IBF Bantamweight champion Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz, will look to win the WBC super bantamweight title from Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas.
"I'm looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown fans on August 24th at StubHub Center," said Mares. "Jhonny Gonzalez and I have a lot of respect for each other, but we know what's at stake. I'm confident that we're going to put on an explosive fight that fans will want to see."
"The belt belongs to me," said Gonzalez. "It's time it returns to my waist. I will give it everything I've got on August 24th."
"I've made many sacrifices throughout my career to win this belt and I'm not about to give it away," said Terrazas. "It's obvious that Leo Santa Cruz is a talented fighter, but it's going to take more than that for me to go back to Mexico without the belt."
"I'm extremely motivated to train hard to take this belt home," said Santa Cruz. "I will not let this opportunity get away from me. I will become world champion once again."
"This doubleheader reminds me of great Los Angeles fight nights when you would see great Mexican fighters battling it out in the ring while the crowd went crazy," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "That's what we have with Mares vs. Gonzalez and Terrazas vs. Santa Cruz...four Mexican warriors fighting not only for a world championship, but for pride."
"Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz are two of the most exciting and fan-friendly fighters in the sport today," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports. "Mares' fight against the crafty veteran Jhonny Gonzalez is sure to be explosive, as both fighters are known for their warriors' mentalities. This will be Santa Cruz's first world title shot in the super bantamweight division, and he has certainly earned it after dynamic performances in his last few fights. This doubleheader makes it a night not to be missed."
"We're thrilled to once again play host to some of Southern California's top boxing talent," said Katie Pandolfo, General Manager of StubHub Center. "Fight nights at StubHub Center are unlike any other venue and we're proud that we have become a home to some of the best that boxing has to offer. We started the summer off with a record breaking evening of boxing in June and look forward to closing out the season with a bang on August 24."
Hawaiian Gardens, California's Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) was a member of the 2004 Mexican Olympic team--he originally hails from Guadalajara, Mexico. Mares won his first world title in 2011 when he defeated Joseph Agbeko for the IBF bantamweight titlse. Mares won the WBC 122-pound belt against Eric Morel less than a year later and, in May of 2013, the 27-year-old knocked out Daniel Ponce De Leon, capturing the WBC featherweight championship. On August 24, he will look to add to his stellar resume by defending his belt against Gonzalez.
A knockout puncher who has struck fear into the hearts of opponents for years, Mexico City's Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's) is a fan favorite who has won world championships at bantamweight and featherweight while beating the likes of Mark Johnson, Fernando Montiel, Irene Pacheco and Mauricio Pastrana. Since moving to featherweight full-time in 2009, Gonzalez has gone 14-1 with 12 knockouts, with his only loss in the form of a technical decision to Ponce De Leon in September of last year. The winner of two straight who most recently scored a fourth round technical knockout win over Akihiko Katagiri, the 31-year-old veteran plans on testing Mares' chin this August when he attempts to get the title which he lost to Ponce De Leon back.
Unbeaten in his last 11 bouts, Guadalajara's Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs) is one of Mexico's most underrated fighters, but with a win over Santa Cruz this August, the world will know his name. The owner of a 2011 win over Fernando Montiel, Terrazas won the WBC 122-pound belt this past April by decisioning Cristian Mijares. On August 24th, he makes his first defense.
The 24-year-old Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs), of Los Angeles, made quite the impression in his super bantamweight debut in May, stopping Alexander Munoz in five rounds. It was a great start at 122 pounds for the former bantamweight king originally from Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, who successfully defended his belt three times over the span of three months before seeking bigger game at super bantamweight.
A full undercard will be announced shortly.