Leo Santa Cruz has finally listened to the fans calls for the Mexican to face some real opposition around his weight division as the WBC super bantamweight champion prepares to move up and face the dangerous Abner Mares.
The pair will battle it out for WBC Diamond featherweight belt on August 29 in Los Angeles, California as the 27 year-old looks to show the world that he is one of the best fighters around between 122 and 126 pounds.
Fights with the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire had failed to materialize for Santa Cruz, which he says was through no fault of his own, and victory over Mares later this month will go some way to proving his many doubters wrong.
“I’m very determined to win this fight. It’s the biggest fight of my career. I have a lot to lose I have a lot to prove. I want to prove to all of the fans that I deserve to be on this level. A win against Mares will put me on the level to get more big fights,” said Santa Cruz.
“I wanted this fight three years ago and they said I wasn’t on Mares’ level. I said I was going to work hard to get on that level so one day we can make it happen and here we are.
“This is the toughest fighter I’ve faced. A fight against him will be the biggest of my career. Even bigger than my first title. Mares has a bigger name, everything is bigger.
“I think Abner moves more since his loss to Jhonny Gonzalez. He knows this fight is very important for him. There’s a lot to lose for him too. I think he’s going to bring everything this fight. That makes it an even better fight for the fans.”