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Setting up a Showdown?

(Photo © Carlos Delgado, Hoganphotos/ GoldenBoy)
(Photo © Carlos Delgado, Hoganphotos/ GoldenBoy)


It was announced on Thursday afternoon at the El Paseo restaurant at Olvera Street in Los Angeles that Golden Boy Promotions will stage a card on August 24th featuring WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares (who will defend his crown against veteran Jhonny Gonzalez) and a bout for the vacant WBC super bantamweight title between Leo Santa Cruz and Victor Terrazas.
 
As you look at the big picture, there is the sense that this is another step in setting up a showdown between Mares and Santa Cruz - who both hail from the Los Angeles area.
 
“I can see that happening because in my last three, four fights, I’ve been fighting guys on my undercards,” said Mares, who recalled, “When I fought [Joseph Agbeko], Anselmo Moreno was fighting and I ended up fighting him and he was fighting [Vic] Darchinyan. I fought him as well. So I definitely see in the future fighting Leo. He’s a great fighter, a great guy. He’s a champion now. He’s going for another world title. It’ll be an interesting fight.”

Back on May 4th, both Mares and Santa Cruz were part of the pay-per-view broadcast featuring Floyd Mayweather’s debut under the Showtime banner. Back a few years ago at the Maywood Boxing Club, they sparred more than a few rounds. Since then, both have been steadily building their profiles and fan-bases.
 
They fight in the cozy, intimate atmosphere of the StubHub Center later this summer but you could see a scenario where they meet next year at the Staples Center. It has all the ingredients of a sizable promotion: two fan-friendly fighters whose styles mesh perfectly.
 
Santa Cruz says, “That’s a dream fight. Me and Mares hopefully get all the fans to go out there and get the Staples Center full and, hopefully, it’ll happen next year. I’m ready and the people want it, so what the people want, that’s what I want.”
 
It says here that it’s one of the best (and most makeable) fights currently out there. But first things first; Santa Cruz will be facing perhaps his sternest challenge as a pro versus the seasoned Terrazas. “I think he’s going to be the toughest fight,” agreed Santa Cruz, who had a banner 2012 with five victories. “He’s a champion; he’s a good fighter and he’s strong. He only has two losses and right now, he beat Fernando Montiel; he beat Cristian Mijares. So right now, I think he’s the toughest guy I’ve faced. But I’m training really hard and I’m getting ready for him and we’re not going to let this opportunity to away.”
 
As for Mares, they would have no qualms about facing Santa Cruz down the line, provided things go according to plan moving forward.
 
“Listen, Abner is now cemented as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters, three-time world champion. He’s always up for the challenge. So Abner’s willing to fight anybody and we can work out something for next year with Santa Cruz. We have no problems if the money is right and we’re willing to sit down and discuss it and have a conversation regarding that,” said Frank Espinoza, who handles Mares’ career.
 
Mares, who is coming off a knockout over the hard-hitting Daniel Ponce de Leon, has become one of the most respected fighters in the game with his willingness to take on all comers. He says, “I think I’m making a name for myself inside the ring - not so much outside, not with talk - in other words, I’m not so much hype. I think I proved it inside the ring and I’m going to continue to do it.”
 
Mares-Santa Cruz. Just the mere thought gets you excited as a boxing fan.
 
And Golden Boy seems to be mapping this out.
 
“Definitely, yeah,” said Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez. “That’s a fight that Leo wants and Abner says he would consider but it’s a natural. Leo’s been proving that he belongs and obviously, Abner’s proved it through being the champion of the [Showtime] bantamweight tournament. So they’re both right around the same weight class. I think Leo’s actually a little bit taller.
 
“It’s a natural fight. I think it would be a good fight, an exciting fight.”
 
TOP RANK
 
So what’s the latest with the proposed bout between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov, tentatively scheduled to take place October 19th on HBO?

Bob Arum broke it down, “Artie Pelullo promotes Provodnikov and he’s all set with us, with HBO; no problem. And as far as Alvarado is concerned, y’ know, he’s never been in this situation before. So he thought he could accomplish stuff through Tweeting and everything.”
 
Yeah, about those tweets of Alvarado (@MileHighMike303), he raised a few eyebrows by Tweeting out:
 
“My last 4 fights been fight of the year candidates. I’m very grateful to Top Rank but it’s my turn to get paid like a world champ”
 
“Listen the fight will probably happen but we need to get my money right first. Mr. Arum is a great man and I’m sure he will get it done
 
“Lets put it this way. I’m not gonna take A LOT less money to fight Provo than Tim Bradley did. I’ve been in war after war. I’m just as good.”
 
And yes, these caught the attention of the Top Rank brass.
 
“We haven’t even had a meeting with him and we set one up for Monday. So I’m sure that fight’s going to happen and I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement with him on Monday,” said Arum.
 
As for Nonito Donaire and Mikey Garcia, Arum explained, “They will be getting [separate] dates in November. So that’s where [Guillermo Rigondeaux] figures to be on, on Garcia’s card and we’ll have Andy Ruiz - depending on how he looks in China [versus Joe Hanks on July 27th] on with Donaire.”
 
SPY VS. SPY
 
In the never-ending “Cold War” between Golden Boy and Top Rank, they not only have dueling cards on a regular basis, now they have no regard for each other’s media/press gatherings. Top Rank had scheduled a media workout at the Wild Card Boxing Club for this past Thursday for Zou Shiming a couple of weeks ago. For some reason, earlier this week, Golden Boy decided to place this press conference for the same day.
 
This reporter was crazy/stupid enough to cover both and it was a bit of a hassle as it meant I had to go to Olvera Street first, then head back to Hollywood and then go right back the other direction to my office in Montebello. But hey, I’m not complaining. This beats having a “real” job.
 
But again, when will this madness end? They can’t even compromise on stuff like this?
 
WEEKEND FLURRIES
 
 
Arum says the September 7th bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera at the Staples Center was finalized but noted, “but that’s going to be at 168 pounds.”...Expected to co-headline that show on HBO is the hard-hitting Argentine welterweight Luis Abregu...Touted prospect Oscar Valdez has been moved to this card in Los Angeles...If Alvarado-Provodnikov gets done, Denver’s First Bank Center will be the venue...Saw “Big Ten Elite” on the ‘94 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Uhhh…weren’t they in the Big 8/12 back then?...Anyways, Tommie Frazier is one of the college’s best QBs and leaders I have ever seen...So was “Sharknado” as bad/good as everyone says it is?...Baron Davis says he was abducted by aliens, huh? It’s obviously they took his skills away during that period...Metta World Peace is no longer a Laker. Well, he’ll always have that Game Seven versus the Celtics...I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.


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