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Santa Cruz-Mares II: Press Quotes

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Leo Santa Cruz will defend his title against Abner Mares this Saturday on Showtime.

PBC on ESPN: Leo Santa Cruz v Abner Mares Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

As this Saturday’s Showtime main event draws near, featherweights Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares express their expectations for their upcoming rematch which was an excellent fight the first time around. Santa Cruz will have his WBA featherweight title on the line as Mares looks to become a world titleholder once again.

Abner Mares

“I can’t go in with the same exact mentality as last time and try to knock Leo’s head off,” Mares said recently. “I have power, but I’m not a one-punch knockout artist. The difference between our fight in 2015 and now is that I’m a more mature and seasoned fighter. I’ve been in this sport a long time, and now with having Robert Garcia in my corner, he’s really helped my mental game and given me great guidance.

”We knew last time, and we know going into this fight, that Leo is a volume puncher. He comes forward and tries to tire you out. But I know that he’s also a vulnerable fighter and I just have to take advantage of it this time.”

Leo Santa Cruz

“He says he’s going to box me more this time, but it’s easier to say that than do it,” Santa Cruz said recently. “When you get in the ring and hear the fans, they make you want to brawl. Once you hear the crowd you want to entertain them. You love to hear the people scream.

”I’ve learned a lot since the first Mares fight. I’ve learned how to adjust during a fight better. I’m a more complete fighter and it’s going to help me look even better this time.”