Abner Mares did his part to set up a rematch between himself and Leo Santa Cruz earlier tonight, beating Andres Gutierrez in a one-sided fight, and Santa Cruz has now held up his end, too.
Santa Cruz retained his WBA “super world” featherweight title with a wipeout win over Chris Avalos, stopping the game but overmatched challenger at 1:33 of round eighth, when referee Thomas Taylor stepped in to stop what had become a total mismatch.
Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KO) was in control pretty much from the opening bell, but really took over for good in a monstrous fourth round, where he battered Avalos (27-6, 20 KO) around the ring. It was remarkable that the always-tough Avalos even managed to stay on his feet, as CompuBox had Santa Cruz landing 54 of 74 (73%) power shots in the frame.
Overall, CompuBox had Santa Cruz landing 55% of his power shots, which is a massive number.
In short, Avalos was as game as ever, but as he has been in fights at this level in the past, he was simply outgunned by a better fighter. Avalos was upset about the stoppage, but shook hands with Santa Cruz after the decision was announced.
Now we look to a potential spring rematch between Santa Cruz and Mares, following their August 2015 fight, which Santa Cruz won by decision.