October 14 has just become a massive day for boxing fans worldwide.
Aside from Jarrett Hurd's upcoming IBF junior middleweight title defense against Austin Trout set to headline a Barclays Center card on Showtime, two world title fights are made official on a PBC on FOX card that will broadcast right before the Showtime card. The FOX card will be the network's first boxing card since the Mayweather vs. McGregor prelims and the first card to feature a world championship fight since WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's last fight back in February.
WBA "super" featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz will defend his title against Chris Avalos and WBA "regular" featherweight Abner Mares will defend his title against Andres Gutierrez on the same card in California.
The two fights serve as a sort of tune-up for the champions as a deal to have the WBA titleholders to unify titles fell through. Instead, both champions will now defend their respective titles before meeting each other in the ring. Should both champions retain their title on October 14, then a Santa Cruz vs. Mares matchup would likely take place in early 2018.
Santa Cruz will be fighting for the first time since regaining the title from Carl Frampton back in January. Mares will be fighting for the first time since last year. Santa Cruz and Mares met back in 2015, with Santa Cruz winning the bout via majority decision.