One of the most talked about potential fights taking place below lightweight over the past year has been a matchup between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz at featherweight. Mares is one of the more established boxers in the sport, having faced an extremely difficult run of opposition over the past few years. Santa Cruz, however, has earned his reputation as a must-see guy through totally different means. His opposition hasn't been half of what Mares' is, but his devil-may-care fighting style is the kind of thing that attracts boxing fans more than anything this side of Rachael Cordingley. Add in the fact that Golden Boy fighters cannot be matched with Top Rank ones, and it seems an easy recipe for a good fight.
But according to Richard Schaefer, it appears the matchup is being prematurely discussed by fans and media.
Here are Schaefer's comments on the potential fight, from an article on Boxing Scene by David Greisman:
"First of all, you have Leo Santa Cruz in a very, very difficult fight challenging for the world title. He has his work cut out for him. I know that Victor Terrazas is going to do whatever he can to defend his title. He waited all his life to get that title, so this is going to be one of those toe-to-toe fights.
"I think it's totally, totally, totally premature to discuss a potential fight between Abner and Leo. Let's see what happens August 24. I think both fighters should have maybe a couple of title defenses, and then we'll see, assuming everything goes well. Let's do first things first...people want great fights (and then) before it's over let's talk about the next one. Let's enjoy what we have."
While this is certainly a disappointment to hear, I will say that facing Mares would be an absolutely huge step-up for Santa Cruz at this point of his career. As greedy as we can be, it may be the best thing for Santa Cruz's career if he gradually steps up that competition. And, to be fair to Golden Boy, they have been putting on some great shows so I really can't complain too much about something like this.