This Saturday night means a night of choices for combat sports fans. UFC 225 dominates the MMA world, but boxing also has a full day, featuring Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford, and a double-header on Showtime. Here, we break down the Showtime card featuring Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares II and Jermell Charlo vs. Austin Trout. The Showtime card airs live at 10:00 p.m. ET.
CHARLO vs TROUT
LEO SANTA CRUZ (34-1-1; 19 KOs) vs. ABNER MARES (31-2-1; 15 KOs)
The main event is a big fight in the Featherweight (126 lbs.) division, with Santa Cruz defending his WBA title against the man he won it against in 2015, Abner Mares. At the time of their first fight, Santa Cruz was undefeated, highly regarded, but seen as needing a top shelf opponent. Mares was 3 fights removed from a massive upset flash KO loss, but was re-establishing himself as one of the division’s best. Santa Cruz took the win there in a hard fought majority decision. Since then, Santa Cruz is 3-1, with his biggest fights being his 1-1 series with Carl Frampton. Mares is 2-0 since including a very good win over Jesus Cuellar. It’s hard to argue that Santa Cruz is not the division’s top dog, but it’s also hard to argue Mares is not just a few spots outside of that top spot. Momentum favors the high-volume, but deceptively technical Santa Cruz, though you can never rule Mares out. Santa Cruz is favored at -500 and he should be – look for him to win a hard fought match-up here, again showing his dominance, and potentially setting up a rubber match with Frampton.
Tyson Fury returns this Saturday: Live stream and fight preview
Breakdown: Crawford vs. Horn preview
JERMELL CHARLO (30-0; 15 KOs) vs. AUSTIN TROUT (31-4; 17 KOs)
The 154 pound Light Middleweight division in an interesting one right now with all kinds of intriguing match-ups featuring Charlo, Trout, Jarrett Hurd, and Erislandy Lara among others. Right now, Hurd stands at the top of that mountain thanks to back to back wins over Trout and Lara, but Charlo is not to be ruled out. WBC champion Charlo has been on a strong run as of late, picking up wins over solid names. The 28 year old currently sits at #2 in the division behind Hurd, looks to be in his prime, and is in a perfect position to take that top spot. To get there, he needs to defeat the smart and highly tested Trout. Trout had a huge signature win in 2012 when he upset Miguel Cotto in Madison Square Garden. Since then, his career has been frustrating. He’s gone 5-4, consistently losing when faced with higher level opposition (which includes Jermell’s brother Jermall Charlo), but also consistently having a decent case for why he should have won on the scorecards. But things just haven’t fallen his way. Trout remains a tough opponent, and if Charlo isn’t careful, Trout can spoil his rise, but a Trout win here would be his biggest since the Cotto fight. Most betting sites have Charlo up at about a -1000 favorite. On the one hand that seems high, but on the other, I certainly wouldn’t put money on Trout here. Cross your fingers for a Charlo vs. Hurd fight next – that should be interesting.
Showtime Championship Boxing Santa Cruz vs. Mares II airs live this Saturday, June 9 with a fight time of 10:01 p.m. ET. Yes, 10:01. Join us here for discussion.