Tonight at 7:30 pm on FOX, Premier Boxing Champions is back with a world title doubleheader in the featherweight division, featuring the returns of Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares in separate bouts.
Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KO) will be taking on Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KO) in the main event, defending his WBA “super world” featherweight title, which he regained in January from Carl Frampton.
Mares (30-2-1, 15 KO) will defend the pointless WBA “world” featherweight title against Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KO). If Santa Cruz and Mares both win, it’s expected they’ll fight one another in 2018, which would be a rematch of their August 2015 bout, which Santa Cruz won by decision.
Both Santa Cruz and Mares are pretty heavy favorites tonight.
The show will open with a 10-round junior welterweight fight between prospect Eddie Ramirez (17-0, 11 KO) and former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1, 23 KO).
Our live coverage of tonight’s PBC on FOX event will lead right into our live coverage of tonight’s Showtime tripleheader, five world title fights in total, so get your night started early right here!
- Leo Santa Cruz def. Chris Avalos by TKO (1:33 of round 8)
- Abner Mares def. Andres Gutierrez by technical decision (99-91, 99-91, 100-90)
- Antonio DeMarco def. Eddie Ramirez by TKO (1:56 of round 1)
Round By Round
Leo Santa Cruz vs Chris Avalos
Round 1: We’re starting fast, as expected, with Avalos coming right at Santa Cruz. Both guys are landing shots, but Santa Cruz getting the better of things. He ate a few uppercuts inside, but landed some really good shots down the stretch to punctuate the round. Santa Cruz 10-9
Round 2: Santa Cruz turning up the pressure early in this round, bringing the fight to Avalos. Avalos still landing some shots, but not budging Santa Cruz. Body shots from Avalos. The effective work, the truly effective work, is pretty much all coming from Leo, who is starting to back Avalos down some with his right hands. Santa Cruz 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: I think Avalos is really fighting about as well as he can, it’s just not a good matchup for him. Santa Cruz is too busy and too accurate. Leo going to the body enough that that could add up sooner than later, too. As Sergio Mora notes, Avalos may have a great chin, but the body is another story for anyone. Santa Cruz 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Santa Cruz unloading on Avalos in the corner. As always, Avalos is giving a real effort, has come to win, but again, as always at this level, he’s overmatched. Avalos being absolutely bombed this round — referee should really consider taking a look. Santa Cruz is just demolishing him. This is a straight up ugly, scary round to watch. Avalos stays up but he took hellacious punishment. Santa Cruz 10-8, 40-35
Round 5: CompuBox says Santa Cruz landed 54 of 74 (73%) of his power punches in round four. Another brutal right from Leo. Avalos’ legs dip a bit but he stays up. Santa Cruz easing up on the gas a bit, but lands another monster right with about 30 seconds left in the round. Santa Cruz 10-9, 50-44
Round 6: Another one-sided round as Santa Cruz continues to own the ring. He spent a lot of energy in the fourth round and hasn’t attacked with the same fury the last two, but Avalos simply cannot win this fight barring some sort of miracle shot. Santa Cruz 10-9, 60-53
Round 7: We’re basically just watching this play out as is now — Leo is on cruise control and Avalos isn’t a threat to him at this point. Avalos’ only chance was really early in this fight, probably, and Santa Cruz took control early and hasn’t given it up. Avalos is tough, just out of his depth. Santa Cruz 10-9, 70-62
Round 8: Big shots again from Santa Cruz in this round. Referee stops the fight. Avalos is really upset, but the referee made a safe and smart call. Santa Cruz TKO-8
Abner Mares vs Andres Gutierrez
Due to technical issues on my end (internet outage due to inclement weather), round-by-round is unavailable for this fight.
Eddie Ramirez vs Antonio DeMarco
Round 1: Ramirez the prospect here, DeMarco the faded veteran. Oh — DeMarco just caught and hurt Ramirez. Oh — DeMarco is beating Ramirez around the ring. OH! The referee stops the fight! Early stoppage IMO but a stunning result. DeMarco TKO-1