Boxing’s two biggest fights on Saturday couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the career spectrum, though they will be taking place in the same city. One involves two older and past-their-prime boxers battling in a Los Angeles' aged arena, while the other pits two rising stars in the city’s glossy venue as they duel for supremacy in the featherweight division.
The older fighters are the bigger names this weekend. In one corner stands 43-year-old Shane "Sugar" Mosley (47-9-1, 39 KOs), and in the other stands 41-year-old Ricardo Mayorga (31-8-1, 25 KOs), both of whom enjoyed prominent success over a decade ago. Rekindling their matchup from 2008, when Mosley earned a 12th-round knockout in the finals seconds, they'll square off at the The Forum in Inglewood.
Up the 110 freeway at Staples Center, undefeated and reigning WBC super-bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs) and former titleholder Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs) battle for the vacant WBA super featherweight crown. Both boxers are Mexican, providing an interesting battle for the hearts of their countrymen.
Mosley’s seeking his first victory since 2013, when he recorded a unanimous decision over Pablo Cesar Cano, but he’s also lost or earned a draw in five of his last six bouts. Mayorga has won his last two fights, picking up technical knockouts over compatriot Andrik Saralegui and American Allen Medina last year, but he hasn’t owned a title since the loss to Mosley seven years ago.
As it stands, Mosley’s considered the favorite at -700 with Mayorga the underdog at +450, according to the latest odds from Bovada.lv.
The more compelling battle of Santa Cruz and Mares, taking place at the same time as Mosley vs. Mayorga II, figures to draw much more attention and have more of an impact on the division.
Santa Cruz, who’s only blemish was a four-round draw more than eight years ago, also owns the IBF bantamweight crown and has successfully retained his belts seven times. Mares suffered his only defeat and lost the WBC featherweight title to Jhonny Gonzalez two years ago, but has ripped off three straight victories and appears poised to challenge Santa Cruz atop the division.
The victor could even see their next opponent in the crowd, with IBF featherweight champ Lee Selby expected to attend the bout and looking for his next opponent.
Santa Cruz is the favorite at -225 and Mares not far behind at a reasonable +175 underdog line.
Mosley vs. Mayorga
Start Time: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET
TV: Pay-per-view via Integrated Sports, but check with your local cable or satellite provider.
Santa Cruz vs. Mares
Start Time: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online: Watch ESPN