• By Miguel Maravilla at Ringside Photos from Andy

Santa Cruz Stops Avalos in 8; Mares Wins Technical Decision Over Gutierrez; Setting Stage for a Rema


Three division world champion Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) of Lincoln Heights by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico returned with an eighth round stoppage over Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs), of Lancaster, California Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California headlining Premier Boxing Champions on FOX.

Santa Cruz started slow but connected Avalos with the right hand in the opening round. The second round saw Santa Cruz pressing backing Avalos with one-two's. Avalos and Santa Cruz stood trading in round three as Santa Cruz worked inside. A left hook by Santa Cruz landed clean as he staggered Avalos in the fourth following up with series of punches as the challenger held on and was saved by the bell.

All the momentum was in the champs favor halfway through the fight as he continued to let his hands go as Avalos was on the receiving end. Ripping away with the left hook to the body in the seventh Santa Cruz stayed on top of Avalos. However in the eighth after a series of punches from Santa Cruz referee Thomas Taylor stepped in and stopped Avalos from further damage stopping the fight at 1:34.

Santa Cruz successfully defends his WBA title as he now sets the stage for a rematch with Abner Mares.

"He was a tough fighter. He took a lot of good shots. I thought I was going to stop him in the fourth. I really wasn't listening to my corner," Santa Cruz said.

"For the rematch with Mares, I will listen to my corner. I watched his fight in the dressing room. I saw some mistakes I can take advantage of," Santa Cruz added.

In what was the Battle of Guadalajara, four-time world champion Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, California by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico was victorious as he won a technical decision over Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs) who also hails from Guadalajara squared off in the co-feature. Mares returned to the scene of the crime where he suffered his first round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez.

Wasting no time Mares fired away huge combinations with bad intentions in the opening round as Gutierrez to the big punches and pressed forward. Mares continued to unload combinations in round two as Gutierrez was cut on the left eye. Sticking the jab in round three Mares followed up with the right as Gutierrez pressed and receiving numerous amount of punches. In the fourth, Mares continued to box effectively and landed a huge overhand right late in the round.

Mares continued to land big punches in round five but Gutierrez kept coming despite the cut and shots he was receiving. Gutierrez continued to press forward as Mares boxed away keeping his distance overwhelming Gutierrez with quickness and speed. The seventh round was all Abner as he kept landing the the combinations and the overhand right on Gutierrez. Pressing in the eighth, Gutierrez's left eye was bleeding badly as Mares popped the jab and circled the ring mixing up combinations.

The blood continued to flow from Gutierrez's eye in the ninth as Mares boxed and chopped away with the overhand right at the left eye. Gutierrez wasn't able to continue as he began the tenth. The fight was stopped as the cut was caused by a punch, but cut was damaged by unintentional fouls throughout the fight as they went to the scorecards. The judges scored the bout 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.

"I was here to make a statement. I had a tough opponent and he was taking a lot of punches I stook to the plan. We are a different fight today and we proved it," Abner Mares told media at ringside.

"I want Leo Santa Cruz next," Mares added.

Opening up the PBC on FOX telecast former world champion Antonio DeMarco (33-6, 24 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico handed Eddie Ramirez (17-1, 11 KOs) of Aurora, Illinois his first defeat in scoring a first round stoppage. Ramirez attacked Demarco inside to the body in the opening seconds of the fight however Demarco staggered Ramirez and the former world champion continued his attack cornering Ramirez landing a series of unanswered punches as the referee stepped in to stop the fight at 1:56 of the first.

ANTONIO DEMARCO

"I think it was a good decision from the referee. He was taking a lot of solid punches.

"I'm very thankful to Ramirez for taking the fight. I think big things are coming for me. I'm going to talk to my team and see what is next. I think this performance will erase a lot of doubts about me.

"I'm an experienced fighter and I stayed patient. I had great preparation and waited for the right moment. I feel great right now."

EDDIE RAMIREZ

"That stoppage was way too early. I was not hurt. I was fighting back and I felt like I was recovering. I want an immediate rematch if possible."

Bantamweight Jose Balderas (2-0) of Santa Maria, California won a unanimous decision over Victor Torres (2-6-1, 1 KO) in a scheduled four rounder. Balderas stunned Torres in the second round and continued his dominance throughout the fight in route to the decision as all three judges scored the bout 40-36.

Roberto Marroquin (27-4-1, 19 KOs of Dallas, Texas stopped Mexican veteran Ruben Tamayo (26-11- 4) in the fifth in a scheduled eight round super featherweight bout. Marroquin dropped Tamayo in the third with a right hand. Tamayo was down again in the fourth as Marroquin cornered him. A left hook by Marroquin in round five did it as Tamayo was down a third time. The referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:49 of the fifth

2016 Mexican Olympian middleweight Misael Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KOs) of Parral, Mexico won a unanimous decision over Cesar Hernandez (3-3-1, 1 KO) of Modesto, California. Rodriguez and Hernandez had some heated exchanges in the early rounds. Trading in the center both Rodriguez and Hernandez exchanged one-two's and did not take a step back as they had some brief words towards the end of the third. Hernandez's nose was bleeding in the fourth round as Rodriguez began to land combinations inside with the uppercut. Rodriguez began to breakdown Hernandez inside in the fifth, going to the body and following up with big punches to the head. The sixth and final round saw Rodriguez fighting at a faster pace as Hernandez was tired as the 2016 Mexican Olympian. All three judges scored the bout 60-54.

Lithuanian welterweight Eimantas Stanionionis (3-0, 3 KOs) went the distance for the first time in his career against Todd Manuel (14-13-1, 3 KOs). Stanionionis took time to adjust to the awkward style Manuel presented in the early rounds. The Lithuanian pressed behind the jab, stalking the flashy Manuel. Manuel continued to present difficulty throughout the fight switching up his stance displaying elusiveness as Stanionionis continued to be the aggressor. In the later rounds the Lithuanian landed some effective punches. In the final round Stanionionis continued to stick to the plan boxing Manuel patiently as he worked his way to a decision victory the judges scored the bout 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73.

Featherweight Percy Peterson (3-14-3, 1 KO) squeaked by with the upset winning a unanimous decision over Luis Coria (4-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled four round bout. The fast handed Peterson dropped Coria in the opening round with a short right as he quickly got up. In round two Peterson staggered Coria as he quickly regained his composure, Peterson pumped the jab boxing away. Coria pressed in the final round sensing the urgency as Peterson was cut above left eye. Peterson continued to let his hands go but Coria continued to pressure his flashy opponent. All three judges scored the bout 38-37 as the knockdown proved to be the difference.

Antonio Santa Cruz (6-3, 3KOs) the younger cousin of world champion Leo Santa Cruz scored a third round knockout over Jesus Algandar (2-2, 2 KOs). The taller Santa Cruz boxed and kept his distance jabbing away as Algandar pressed. Santa Cruz tagged Algandar who continued to be there aggressor with one-two combos. An overhand right by Santa Cruz did it as Algandar did not get up from the canvas the referee reached a ten count at 1:37 of the the third.

Jerry Perez of Oak Hills, California (4-0, 2 KOs) _ Juan Sandoval (7-20-1, 4 KOs) of San Bernandino, California. Perez dominated from the start as he landed the clean solid punches. Sandoval stood his ground for the entire fight gettinbhis shots in but Perez displayed the better skills in route to a decision as all three judges scored the bout 39-37

In the opening bout from the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California super bantamweights Jose Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) of Pasadena, California scored a second round knockout over Jose Perez (1-1, 1 KO). Vargas dropped Perez twice in the opening round and finished him off in the second as the referee stopped the fight at 2:00.

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