In a match up of two of the most exciting Featherweight boxers in the world, multi-division titleholder and current WBC champion Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO) will square off against offensive dynamo Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8-0, 46 KO) -- who scored 11 consecutive knockouts inside six rounds from 2009 to 2011 -- tonight (Aug. 24, 2013) inside StubHub Center in Carson, California.
MMAmania will deliver LIVE "Mares vs. Gonzalez" coverage below, starting with the Showtime broadcast at 10 p.m. ET.
After winning Showtime's Bantamweight tournament with victories over Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko, Mares went up to 122 pounds, defeating Eric Morel and pound-for-pound great Anselmo Moreno before frustration at an inability to face Nonito Donaire prompted him to move to Featherweight.
His debut at 126 pounds was successful, dropping durable veteran Daniel Ponce de Leon twice en route to a stoppage in round nine.
With more than 14 years of experience, Gonzalez has proven himself one of the premier offensive fighters in the sport, with his only losses since 2007 coming to former division king Toshiaki Nishioka and the aforementioned Ponce de Leon. While his durability has been an issue in the past, he has the goods to test Mares' chin like nobody has before.
In addition to the Featherweight strap, the Super Bantamweight belt will be on the line in the Showtime Championship Boxing co-main event, which pits champion Victor Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO) against volume puncher supreme Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO), who has finished 12 of his last 14 bouts. Terrazas has lost just once since his debut, defeating the likes of Fernando Montiel and Cristian Mijares over the course of his last five fights.
After a string of six straight decisions early in his career, Santa Cruz has taken a shine to putting people away early, utilizing an insanely high punch output -- more than 100 per-round. After winning and defending the IBF Bantamweight title three times, Santa Cruz moved up to Super Bantamweight. This will be his third fight at 122 pounds.
"MARES VS. GONZALEZ" QUICK RESULTS:
126 lbs.: Jhonny Gonzalez def. Abner Mares by TKO at 2:55 of Round One
122 lbs.: Leo Santa Cruz def. Victor Terrazas by TKO at 2:09 of Round Three
"MARES VS. GONZALEZ" PLAY-BY-PLAY RESULTS:
Featherweight: Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez
Round one: They circle each other in center ring for the first minute with minimal activity. Ninety seconds in and they've yet to land a solid punch. Mares left hook falls short. Long right hand from Jhonny. Mares storms forward, lands a right hand after three missed shot. MASSIVE left hook from Gonzalez drops Mares! Mares is up, seems okay. Gonzalez pouring it on. Mares firing back but Gonzalez is laying on the hurt and Mares goes down hard. Referee stops it. Gargantuan upset by the Mexican veteran.
Final result: Gonzalez def. Mares by TKO
Super Bantamweight: Victor Terrazas vs. Leo Santa Cruz
Round one: Tentative exchanges in center ring. Terrazas potshots to the body and ducks a retaliatory overhand. Quick overhand right from Terrazas, Santa Cruz answers. Terrazas lands an uppercut. LSC backs him to the fence and lands a pair of hard body shots. Another one in center ring and a right up top. Santa Cruz digs an uppercut and left hook downstairs. Good right hand and he steps in with a hard left. Two more to the body. Yet another good left upstairs. Terrazas counters to the body and is answered in kind. Both men land good uppercuts. Terrazas sneaks in a right hand and takes one as he retreats. Hard left hook to the body from the champion and he takes an uppercut downstairs at the bell. 10-9 LSC.
Round two: Santa Cruz lands some short rights. Terrazas working the counter. Both men slam the body and then start trading uppercuts. Overhand right-uppercut by Terrazas. They're taking turns with three- or four-punch combos. Santa Cruz lands a long right and they exchange point-blank. Santa Cruz on the front foot. Jab to the body from Terrazas. Santa Cruz lands three long straight shots and a good left hook. Forehead-to-forehead exchanges, both men taking punishment to the body uphead. Great combo by Santa Cruz met by a right. This is brilliant stuff; Terraza's right eye looks messed up already. Santa Cruz walking him down against the ropes and getting the better of exchanges. Santa Cruz stings Terrazas in the last ten seconds and they exchange to end it. 10-9, 20-18 Santa Cruz.
Round three: That eye looks terrible; not sure how long it'll stay open.
They go right back to trading inside, Santa Cruz working the body and peppering in lefts upstairs. Terrazas is landing, but not with the same efficacy or volume. Uppercuts to the body and head from LSC, Terrazas uppercut slips in. Good right hands from LSC. Left hook to the body from Santa Cruz, Terrazas launches an uppercut, then eats two of his own. Terrazas wobbled by a left hook and Santa Cruz chases him down for a knockdown. Terrazas on his feet and looks steady. LSC is not going to let him get away and keeps pouring it on until he takes a knee. Terrazas tells the ref he can't see from his right eye and this one is over. The Earthquake has demolished a very, very legitimate opponent in fantastic fashion.
Final result: Santa Cruz def. Terrazas by TKO