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Abner Mares vs Leo Santa Cruz would sell big in Los Angeles, says De La Hoya

Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya is keen on matching Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz in what he thinks can be a big-time attraction in Los Angeles.

Jeff Gross

Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz both had big years in 2012, and Golden Boy Promotions is, as you might expect, quite high on their futures.

Oscar De La Hoya is also big on a potential fight between the two, which he says could sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles:

"Of course [I would make that fight]. One of the biggest fights that can be made in Los Angeles, that would sell out the Staples Center, is Abner Mares vs. Leo Santa Cruz," De La Hoya said.

If we're being real and not insane people, Mares-Santa Cruz is simply not going to sell out the Staples Center, but the fact is, it's the sort of fight that deserves to sell out that kind of venue, so I have a hard time really going to town on the silly promoterspeak here.

Both fighters have seemed interested in this, too, with Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KO) especially into the idea, saying several times that he'd like to fight Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO) when the time was right to move to 122 pounds. That time is now, as Santa Cruz, 24, has said he'll look to move up after his December 15 win on CBS against Alberto Guevara. Santa Cruz, who went 5-0 on the year and made a lot of new fans, was a bit sluggish in that fight, though it was still an entertaining affair.

Mares, 27, last fought in November, beating Anselmo Moreno in a really dirty fight. Like Santa Cruz, he's an aggressive fighter -- both can box, but they prefer to mix it up whenever possible, and are high-activity sorts in the ring. There's really no way that a Mares-Santa Cruz matchup doesn't result in a hell of a fight, and it's probably the best fight that can actually be made for Mares (don't hold your breath on a Nonito Donaire bout) and for Santa Cruz.