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Santa Cruz-Mares official for Aug. 29th

Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will be facing off in a featherweight clash at the Staples Center in L.A.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

It's official, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will be meeting on August 29th in a featherweight bout that will air on PBC on ESPN. This bout is probably most significant in that it will be the toughest test to date for both fighters. Fans have been highly critical of Santa Cruz's low level of opposition for some time now but here Leo should at least get a run for his money. Abner Mares hasn't fought since his March 7th decision win over Arturo Reyes, in a rather lackluster showing, but cited fighting of an illness as the reason for that. In this fight, Mares expects to be firing on all cylinders .

"I'm really excited for this fight, it's a fight the fans have been asking for and I'm ready to give them what they want — a great show and a great victory," said Mares. "L.A. is my home, I train here, grew up here and I'm ready to show this city and the world that I am the champ."

Santa Cruz, on the other hand, is looking forward to finally proving his worth to fans against a high-caliber opponent after being coddled in his match-ups in recent years.

"This fight means so much to me because I know it is what the fans have been waiting for," said Santa Cruz. "The opportunity to fight at Staples Center against a Mexican warrior and great fighter in Abner Mares is one that I plan on taking very seriously. We have been preparing for this moment for a very long time and I'm so glad it's finally here. A win is going to take one of us to the next level."

This is a bit of a tough fight to call as it's hard to determine where each man is currently at in their professional progression; some think Mares is already shopworn, others think Leo is mostly a creation of showcase fights. Who do you have in this one?

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