MEXICO’S Leo Santa Cruz defended his WBA featherweight title, hammering Chris Avalos to an eight round defeat at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, Carlifornia on Saturday.

Santa Cruz forced Avalos on to the backfoot and rocked him as early as the fourth round. He hammered away at Avalos until finally the referee had seen enough, ending it at 1-34 of the eighth round.

His win sets up a rematch with Abner Mares, who boxed on the same card. Mares beat Andres Gutierrez in the co-feature. The latter suffered a cut by his eye in the second round. Mares continued to ramp up the pressure. He continued to land punches and by the 10th round Mares’ injury was so bad he could not continue. The bout therefore went to the cards and Mares took a technical decision.