Santa Cruz-Mares II & Charlo-Trout Saturday on Showtime!

After their 2015 title showdown brought the Staples Center crowd to its feet, WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz and three-division world champion Abner Mares will meet again in their shared hometown of Los Angeles. Plus, unbeaten super welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo defends his title against former world champion Austin Trout. The action goes down live on Showtime this Saturday, June 9 at 10PM ET/PT.

The highly-anticipated rematch between Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) and Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) will happen this Saturday live in the main event of a SHOWTIME Championship Boxing doubleheader from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Also, WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) makes his 3rd title defense against former WBA champion Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) in the co-feature.

Santa Cruz is one of the best boxers in the world. The 29 year-old Mexican is fast, technical, and throws a lot of great combinations. Santa Cruz, a three-division world champion at 118, 122, and 126 pounds, has defeated every man he has fought professionally including an avenged defeat against Carl Frampton last year.

He also credits his two fights with Frampton for helping him become a much better fighter and preparing him for his rematch with Mares.

“The two fights with Frampton definitely made me a better fighter,” Santa Cruz said. “They gave me a lot of experience and I learned a lot from those fights. I know I’m going to be a better fighter for this fight than the first time we fought.”

Nearly three years ago, Santa Cruz won a majority decision against Mares. Mares has since fought twice winning a surprising split-decision over Jesus Cuellar to win the WBA 126-pound title and successfully defended it against Andres Gutierrez. Santa Cruz is looking forward to defeating an improved Abner Mares.

“I think Abner has looked better in recent fights, but not so much that he looks unbeatable or anything,” Santa Cruz said. “He’s shown some improvements but I feel I’ve gotten much better as well. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m going to come out victorious.

Santa Cruz says he’s just as motivated to win and is going to try to stop Mares the second time around.

“I’m still as motivated as ever,” Santa Cruz said. “I have the same hunger as if this fight was for my first title. I never underestimate anyone and always give it my all in the gym. It’s no different heading into this one. We’re going to try to win bigger this time but I’ll be ready to go 12 rounds. I’d definitely love to stop him. If the knockout comes it comes, and if I see an opening I’m going to take advantage.”

Mares, a former 118, 122, and 126 pounds, has been waiting for the chance to avenge his defeat to Santa Cruz from 2015.

“I have to be a poised and relaxed Abner Mares on June 9,” Mares said. “I can’t go in with the same exact mentality as last time and try to knock Leo’s head off. I have power, but I’m not a one-punch knockout artist. “I trained well for the first fight but I got tired toward the end of the fight. I got desperate and frustrated at times and it took a toll on my body. Now we’re here and I’m happy to have my chance at redemption.”

In addition to Mares and Frampton, Santa Cruz also holds key victories against Cristian Mijares, Eric Morel, Kiko Martinez, and is a veteran of 15 world title fights.

“We always prepare for 12 rounds,” Santa Cruz. “I’ve been going 13 rounds in sparring because my dad always likes to go one extra. This has been one of the best camps we’ve had as far as conditioning and sparring.”

Heading to the rematch, Mares understands which areas he came-up short and what adjustments he needs to make in order to become successful on Saturday.

“The difference between our fight in 2015 and now is that I’m a more mature and seasoned fighter,” Mares said. “I’ve been in this sport a long time, and now with having Robert Garcia in my corner, he’s really helped my mental game and given me great guidance. There’s no doubt that Leo and myself will both train hard and be ready physically for fight night. This fight won’t be about physical strength, it’s going to be about the mental tools we have and the ability that we both have to adjust during the fight.”

Added Mares: “We knew last time and we know going into this fight that Leo is a volume puncher. He comes forward and tries to tire you out. But I know that he’s also a vulnerable fighter and I just have to take advantage of it this time.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit AXS.com.

The 154-pound division continues to heat up as undefeated world champion Jermell Charlo defends his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout Saturday, June 9 in a 12-round showdown live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by WBA Super World Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz battling WBA Regular Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares in an anticipated world title rematch.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit AXS.com.

Super welterweight is one of the deepest and most ferociously contested divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd and Charlo on a collision course for supremacy in the weight class. Virtually all of the most significant fights in the division are taking place in 2018 on SHOWTIME, with the three consensus best fighters, and at least five of the consensus top-10, facing off in what has become an unofficial tournament.

Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) has blasted his way to the top of the division, having stopped four of his last opponents by knockout. The 27-year-old from Houston won the title with a knockout victory over John Jackson in 2016. Since then he has successfully defended it twice, including scoring a devastating first round knockout victory over top contender Erickson Lubin in his last fight in October and a Knockout of the Year contender against Charles Hatley in April. Charlo and his twin brother, Jermall, were the only twin brothers to hold world titles in the same weight class simultaneously before Jermall relinquished his 154-pound championship to campaign at 160 pounds.

“Trout is no journeyman. He’s a former world champion, someone who has a name and he comes to fight. The name means he’s worthy of another title challenge,’’ said Charlo. “Trout is the man that has been chosen for me and I have to take care of him. I’m super excited to be fighting and defending my title again.

“The only thing I’m going to tell you about what I’m going to do against Trout is, I’m going to surprise you guys. I plan to show my skills and show why I’m the best at 154 pounds. The most important thing is to make my mark and claim my territory.’’

The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) is one of most accomplished boxers in the 154-pound division, having stepped into the ring against champions like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Representing Las Cruces, New Mexico, he won the super welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Rigoberto

Alvarez in 2011. He successfully defended the title four times, including a victory over Cotto, before losing the championship to Alvarez in 2013 and a decision to Lara eight months later.

After winning four straight, Trout stepped in for a world championship against Jermall Charlo but lost a close unanimous decision in 2016, although he is the only person to go the distance with Jermall since 2015. Last October he took on Hurd for the title, but lost via 10th round TKO – the first time in his career that he’d ever been stopped. Trout is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel on Feb. 17.

“I’m more than excited. I’m happy because I’m still a threat in this game,” said Trout. “People can write me off all they want. Even when I was a champion people wrote me off. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m approaching it is as my last opportunity. Everybody is counting me out and I’m hoping he is too. I’m going to shock him and the world.

“I feel like I’ve done this before because I fought his brother,” Trout added. “Jermell uses more of his skills where Jermall uses more of his brute strength. I fought the bigger one and I fought Hurd who was like his bigger brother. Now I get to fight someone who is closer to my size.’’

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