Tonight (Oct. 14, 2017) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, world champions Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz defend their respective belts as the main events of the Premier Boxing Champions on FOX broadcast. WBA world champion Abner Mares takes on the challenge of Mexico’s once–beaten Andres Gutierrez and the WBA’s “Super World” champion Leo Santa Cruz faces off against veteran Chris Avalos. Both champions are expected to retain their belts as the lines reveal far from competitive fights.
Both Gutierrez and Avalos have been labeled the “opponents” as the PBC is featuring both featherweights in a showcase with the end results being Santa Cruz versus Mares 2. The two men met for the first time back in august of 2015 and that bout saw Santa Cruz edge Mares by majority decision.
Gutierrez is 35-1-1 heading into his bout with Mares, but the young Mexican fighter is making his first appearance outside of his home country in what is also his first shot at a world title. The fact is that Gutierrez has a strictly regional record as he enters the fight with Mares, while Mares has been fighting at the world class level for more than half a decade. Many times body language can be deceiving, but the Gutierrez has appeared to be calm at the start of fight week. One wonders if he is just happy to be here or if he himself believes he has a chance over the highly respected Mares. another factor is that Gutierrez is from Guadalajara, the same hometown as Mares, so the respect Gutierrez carries for his opponent runs deep. With Mares motivated by a big money rematch with Santa Cruz he is unlikely to be anything but “all-business” against Gutierrez.
WBA “Super World” champion Leo Santa Cruz is a prohibitive favorite as he faces veteran Chris Avalos. Avalos is coming off a controversial win on cuts over prospect Miguel Flores to set up this shot, and he is an experienced fighter with a strong resume. This will be Avalos second shot at a world title as he took a February of 2015 loss to then IBF world super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton and he has gone just 2-2 since that loss. Avalos however is saying all the right things in the build-up to this fight and he is talking about making positive changes in his life and improved focus on his career. Expect the hard working Avalos to make a fight out if it however at some point the elite nature of Santa Cruz’ arsenal is expected to make the difference.
StubHub Center – Carson, California – Fox
Featherweight 12 rounds –
Andres Gutierrez +500
Abner Mares -900
Featherweight 12 rounds –
Chris Avalos +3650
Leo Santa Cruz -8800