LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Leo Santa Cruz beat Abner Mares by majority decision Saturday night, remaining unbeaten with a superior technical performance in a thrilling featherweight bout between two hometown fighters.
Santa Cruz (31-0-1) survived a night of furious exchanges and eventually controlled several rounds with his superior jab and reach, overcoming Mares' heavy pressure. Mares (29-2-1) did admirable work inside and survived numerous big shots, but ultimately couldn't land a decisive blow.
A raucous crowd at Staples Center favored Santa Cruz over Mares, but just barely. Both fighters were born in Mexico and grew up in the Los Angeles area, attracting a large turnout for local bragging rights.
Two judges scored the fight 117-111 for Santa Cruz, while Max DeLuca had a 114-114 draw. The Associated Press favored Santa Cruz, 116-112.