Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares have been on a collision course for a world title rematch for almost a year and now the two WBA featherweight champions are set to battle each other in Los Angeles.
It had been long known that Santa Cruz and Mares will fight each other on Showtime, but now the fight has been officially announced. The fight will take place at the Staples Center on June 9 with the winner being the sole WBA featherweight world champion.
Santa Cruz and Mares had already fought each other for the WBA title once back in 2015. Santa Cruz picked up the win and retained the title by majority decision. Santa Cruz would then go on to lose the belt to Carl Frampton in the summer of 2016 before regaining it on January 2017 in a rematch.
Mares bounced back from the loss to Santa Cruz by winning the WBA "regular" featherweight title at the end of 2016 when he defeated Jesus Cuellar by split decision. Both Santa Cruz and Mares retained their respective WBA titles on the same card PBC on FOX last year. Santa Cruz defeated Chris Avalos in the main event while Mares defeated Andres Gutierrez in the co-feature bout, setting up the rematch between the two titleholders.
This is the first boxing event at the Staples Center since early 2016 when Danny Garcia defeated Robert Guerrero to win the then-vacant WBC welterweight world title. The title fight is the latest in the WBA's mission to reduce the number of world titleholders in each weight class. The featherweight division does have a third WBA titleholder, but that title is the interim featherweight title held by Jesus Rojas.