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Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr: Who wins potential featherweight showdown?

The top two featherweights could be on a collision course. So who would win?

Leo Santa Cruz v Abner Mares Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Coming off of this past Saturday’s rematch win over Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, usually a soft-spoken sort who doesn’t name specific opponents he wants to fight, called out one man in particular: fellow featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr.

“I want Gary Russell Jr next,” he said after beating Mares. “I want to unify. I’m ready for everyone, whoever and whenever.”

Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KO) is arguably the No. 1 featherweight in the world right now. The argument comes from Russell (29-1, 17 KO), whose only pro loss came at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko back in 2014.

Since then, Russell has rattled off five straight wins, most recently outpointing Joseph Diaz Jr on May 19. Both he and Santa Cruz are with Al Haymon, so making the fight shouldn’t really be any problem, and certainly Showtime would be interested in putting it on TV, and fight fans would want to see it.

But who would win? It’s a terrific style clash on paper — you have the boxer-puncher Santa Cruz, who throws a lot of punches and pressures well, against the slicker Russell, whose pure hand speed may well be unrivaled in all of boxing.

If this fight goes down, who ya got?


Who wins: Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Leo Santa Cruz
    (237 votes)
  • 47%
    Gary Russell Jr
    (211 votes)
448 votes total Vote Now

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