Category Archives: Sports

Rhode Island Rams at Syracuse Orange

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( )- RACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Year three of the Scott Shafer era at Syracuse is at hand, and there’s nowhere for the Orange to go but up.

In the rearview mirror is a 3-9 record after a 2-0 start, only one win in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and five straight losses to end 2014.

Time to flip the switch.

”I don’t even think about last year. I don’t speak about it,” said senior quarterback Terrel Hunt, who was ejected in the 2014 season opener and missed the last seven games with a broken calf bone. ”We’re just playing. We don’t think we have to put on a show for anybody. Some people are going to like what we do. Some people won’t like what we do.”

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The new season begins Friday night in the Carrier Dome against Rhode Island, and Shafer is prepared for a difficult game, even if the Rams do play at Division I’s second tier.

”Going into the game, they are fired-up and ready to go,” said Shafer, an assistant at Rhode Island for three years in the mid-1990s who was Syracuse’s defensive coordinator four years ago when the Rams visited the Carrier Dome and lost by only a touchdown. ”Playing in the Dome will be a great experience for those kids. We have to have our Ps and Qs together and be ready to roll.”

Syracuse began last season against Villanova, a solid team from the Football Championship Subdivision, and won by one point – in double overtime – on a touchdown pass from punter Riley Dixon.

Hunt watched it all unfold after his ejection in the second quarter and is anxious to begin making amends.

”It’s my first game back, so I just want to slaughter,” he said. ”You can’t say that, but I want to have a really good game because everybody is so stuck on last year. We’re ready to move forward and see what we have this year.”

Some things to know when Syracuse hosts Rhode Island on Friday night:

DEFENSIVE LINE: Syracuse returns only two defensive linemen with significant playing experience at the position, and end Ron Thompson and tackle John Raymon have been hurting. Although both missed a lot of preseason camp, they’ll be available against Rhode Island. ”We’ll have to be careful with the reps because they’re obviously not in football shape,” DC Chuck Bullough said. ”So we’ll have to pick and choose when to play them. They can’t play the whole game.” Bullough expects four freshman defensive linemen to see lots of action, but Thompson and Raymon will be in there if the Orange are behind or it’s close.

TWO DEEP: Syracuse’s lineup includes 11 players who started at least six games in 2014 and 24 who have made at least one career start. It also includes six freshmen, including quarterback Eric Dungey, who will share backup duties with sophomore Austin Wilson. The lone member of Syracuse’s front five without starting experience is right guard Seamus Shanley.

ORANGE CAPTAINS: Hunt, C Rob Trudo, DE Luke Arciniega and LB Zaire Franklin are the new Syracuse captains, elected by a team vote. Hunt is in his third year as the starter and ranks 10th in school history with 2,621 passing yards. He’s also second among active ACC players in total career offense (3,413). Franklin is the Orange’s first sophomore captain in 70 years. ”That’s a long time. That’s heavy,” he said.

RAM POWER: Rhode Island, which finished 1-11 last year, starts junior college transfer QB Paul Mroz, who last year led Victor Valley College in southern California to a 10-0 record, passing for 2,434 yards and 26 touchdowns. Safety Tim Wienclaw recovered four fumbles last season, most in the nation, and also led all Colonial Athletic Association defensive backs by averaging nearly nine tackles per game.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Syracuse has not lost to an FCS team since a 14-13 setback at Holy Cross in 1958, a span of 31 games. The Orange are 13-0 in the Carrier Dome against FCS teams.

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Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

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Texas Rangers (70-62) at Los Angeles Angels (67-66)

MLB Baseball: Friday, September 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm (Angel Stadium)

M Perez (2-3) (5.15) vs. G Richards (12-10) (3.80)

The Line: Los Angeles Angels -140 / Texas Rangers +130

Over/Under: 8

Garrett Richards (12-10, 3.80 ERA) and Martin Perez (2-3, 5.15 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Los Angeles Angels (67-66) and the Texas Rangers (70-62) at Angel Stadium. Action begins at 10:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 4.

Richards pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs and striking out nine in an 8-3 defeat to the Indians. Mike Trout (.297, 84 Rs, 33 HRs, 74 RBIs, 10 SBs) continued his strong play Wednesday, going 2 for 5 with one run. Perez went 6.1 innings, surrendering three runs and striking out four in a 4-3 win over the Orioles in his last outing. Rougned Odor (.278, 39 Rs, 11 HRs, 43 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 5 Wednesday.

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The Texas Rangers are second in the American League West but are playing well and have first in their sights. The Rangers have won six of seven following    a 4-3 decision at San Diego on Wednesday. Cole Hamels gave up all three runs on eight hits and whiffed eight through seven frames in a no decision effort. Texas totaled nine hits and walked six times with Chis Gimenez going solo while Adrian Beltre doubled in Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Martin Perez draws the game one start against Los Angeles on Friday night.  Perez is coming off of a 4-3 victory versus visiting Baltimore where he gave up all three runs on seven hits over 6.1 frames.
The Los Angeles Angels are in need of a prolonged hot streak if they expect to pass Texas for second in the American League West. The Angels have won consecutive contests after knocking off Oakland 9-4 on the road Wednesday. Starter Andrew Heaney improved to 6-2 with three runs allowed on seven hits over seven innings which was easily enough for the offense that launched a 13 hit attack. Albert Pujols went 2-5 with a homer, three RBI’s and two runs while CJ Cron and David Freese knocked in two runs apiece. Garrett Richards toes the rubber against the Rangers for the third time this season. Richards threw the ball well in an 8-3 loss (ND) to Cleveland with three runs scored on seven hits in seven innings.

The under is 6-1-1 in Texas last 8 Friday games and is 11-4-2 in their last 17 overall while going  11-4-2 in their last 17 on grass. Los Angeles are 4-9 in their last 13 games following a win and  are 4-9 in their last 13 overall while going  4-9 in their last 13 games on grass. The Rangers are 7-21 in the last 21 meetings.

The Angels lead the season series, 8-4. The Angels have a 19-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they’ll be facing when Perez takes the mound. Richards (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rangers, who have a 47-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers.

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Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Utah State Aggies

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College Football: Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Romney Stadium)

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will look to upset the Utah State Aggies this Thursday night at Merlin Olsen Field

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds who made an appearance in the FCS playoffs in 2013 didn’t repeat the their success last year as they were able to go only 3-9 on the season and 3-5 in conference (Big Sky) play. If Southern Utah is going show improvement this year it will need to come from their defense who struggled last year giving up 35+ points in over half their games played. The good news for the Thunderbirds is that they do have Big Sky Preseason Defensive MVP in DE James Cowser.

The Thunderbirds will also be hoping that defensive backs LeShaun Sims and Miles Killebrew will be able to help Cowser and prevent some of the big plays that hurt them last year. On the offensive side of the ball, Southern Utah is hoping the former BYU transfer Ammon Olsen (241-381, 3049 yds and 21 TDs) can continue the strong showing he put together last season. Southern Utah has some talent on this team and if they can find some additional weapons on offensive, this team could be a threat to some of the top teams of the Big Sky conference.

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The Utah State Aggies finished last season with a 10-4 record and 6-2 conference and earned a trip to the New Mexico Bowl in which they beat UTEP 21-6. The Aggies were able to overcome injuries to their top two quarterbacks last season (Chuckie Keeton and Darrell Garretson) and with Chuckie Keeton ( 1st team WAC in 2012) can return to form and avoid injury, the Aggies will be a threat to Boise State in the Mountain West this season.

Utah State has a strong and experienced offensive line that should help provide Garretson some protection and have a great wide receiver in Hunter Sharp who finished last season with 66 receptions, 939 yds, and 7 TD’s. On the defensive side of the ball Utah State is returning 6 starters that led the Mountain West conference in 2014 in conference ppg (18.4). The Aggies are stacked at the LB and DB position and are led by LB’s Nick Vigil and Kyler Fackrell.

The Thunderbirds are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. MWC and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September. The Aggies are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games in September.

The line has yet to be posted for this one and although Southern Utah does have a few playmakers on each side of the ball, they don’t have overall talent to stay close with Utah State. The Aggies defeated the Thunderbirds in their last matchup in 2012, 34-3

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Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

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in their final matches in the preseason, the Cincinnati Bengals meet the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in the National Football League.

The match is on September 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM ET.

The matchup will mark the 24th all-time meeting between the teams in the preseason, with the Bengals holding a 15-8 advantage. It will mark the 15th consecutive season that the two teams have squared off in the preseason.

Because this is Week 4 of the preseason, we rarely see teams play their starters in this game, so don’t expect to see guys like Andy DaltonAndrew LuckA.J. GreenT.Y. HiltonGeno Atkins, or Vontae Davis play. Losing any of the aforementioned guys to a silly injury this week would be devastating with the regular season opening next week.

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That doesn’t mean, however, that this game is of no important. Every NFL team must have their final 53-man rosters set by 4 p.m. EST on Saturday. Because this game is played Thursday night, that gives coaches and front-office personnel a full day to evaluate this game and use it to help determine which guys should make up those final 10-12 spots on each roster.

Cincinnati had a fairly decent preseason and even if they lose their final game against the Colts, they will end up with a .500 record. However, already at 2-1, expect them to try and end their exhibition games on a high.

Meanwhile, the Colts are 1-2 and are also trying to get a big win at home to give the crowd a lot to cheer for heading into the regular season.

The Bengals were victorious in the previous game week as they faced the Chicago Bears. AJ McCarron had an excellent game as he went for 12-17 for 149 yards and completed one touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Colts picked up their first win of the preseason when they beat the St. Louis Rams 24-14. Prior to the win, the Colts lost to the Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Colts went on an early lead, going up 10-0 after the first quarter but found themselves behind 14-13 at the end of three periods.

They were able to recollect themselves and score 11 points in the final frame, with their defence holding up and preventing the Rams to score as they went on to win.

Tyler Varga had six rushes for 16 yards and also converted one touchdown.


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New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

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( As they look to keep fighting in the AL East chase, the visiting Yankees are hoping Masahiro Tanaka can continue to pitch well Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.

After missing three games at Atlanta and Monday’s 4-3 loss at Fenway Park, Teixeira was sent back to New York for further tests on his injured shin. The results weren’t positive as the first baseman will miss at least two weeks with a significant bone bruise.

Rick Porcello pitched great, which is what mattered most to the Boston Red Sox.

The New York Yankees won, which is what mattered most to the New York American League Baseball Club.

Porcello struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked just one in eight innings, but a two-run double by Stephen Drew in the fifth and a home run by Brett Gardner that wrapped around the Pesky Pole in the eighth was enough to give the Yankees a 3-1 win over the Red Sox before 35,077 in Fenway Park.

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Drew’s two-out double followed an error by rookie first baseman Travis Shaw, who allowed Didi Gregorius’ grounder to skip under his glove with Alex Rodriguez on first with a single. Drew hit a 2-and-0 pitch from Porcello, his first 2-and-0 count of the night.

Gardner’s home run also came with two out.

The Sox scored their only run on a double by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a two-out, opposite-field single by Pablo Sandoval in the third off Yankees starter Michael Pineda. Pineda gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven in six innings.

The Sox threatened in the eighth against Yankees setup man Dellin Betances on singles by Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, but with David Ortiz at the plate and two out, Betts was called out for oversliding third base on an attempted double steal.

The call was reviewed by replay officials in New York, who issued the following ruling:

“After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the runner lost contact with third base while the fielder was applying the tag. Additionally, the umpires on the field determined that the fielder did not push the runner off the base, a decision that is not reviewable. The call is CONFIRMED. The runner is out.”

Ortiz struck out on the next pitch to end the inning, and former Sox left-hander Andrew Miller struck out three batters in the ninth to register his 29th save. Miller has 73 strikeouts in just 47 1/3 innings.

The most recent Red Sox pitcher to whiff 13 or more or more while walking one or fewer was Jon Lester, on July 24, 2010, when he K’d 13 and walked one in a 5-1 loss. The last Sox pitcher to do so at Fenway: Curt Schilling, when he walked one and struck out 14 in eight scoreless innings in a 3-2 Red Sox win.

Nine of Porcello’s 13 strikeouts came on a called third strike.

What it means: The Toronto Blue Jays were up 1.5 games on the Yankees coming into Tuesday in the American League East and were tied with the Cleveland Indians as of this writing. If Toronto wins, the two teams will stay dead-locked in the division. A loss brings the Yankees to within a half-game.

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Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

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( The Chicago Cubs lost 13-6 to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Here’s a quick look at the game. Justin Grimm gave up a pair of two-run home runs in the sixth inning, not long after the Cubs scored four in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Addison Russell’s two-run double tied the game 3-3, then Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant hit infield singles to drive in two more. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Dexter Fowler hit a ball into the basket in left field for his 15th home run. But the Reds tied it and then went ahead 3-1 in the fifth. Joe Maddon walked Joey Votto intentionally with men on first and second. This strategy backfired, as Brandon Phillips singled home two runs. It looked like the Cubs took command the next inning, but Eugenio Suarez andAdam Duvall took Grimm deep in the sixth, and the Reds never looked back. The winning hit was Duvall’s first home run of the season. The Cubs blew up in the ninth, as Starlin Castro made two errors and James Russell got hit hard, which allowed the Reds to score six runs. Addison Russell homered in the bottom of the inning to finish the scoring. 

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The Cubs played like they partied all night and took a red-eye home from Los Angeles. It got worse as the game progressed. You have to chalk it up to remnants of the previous 24 hours, as there isn’t a better explanation right now.

It’s easier to come down on starter Kyle Hendricks than on Grimm, considering the latter has been good more often than not. Hendricks is a different story. He looked OK for several innings Monday before starting to get hit hard. He simply needs to last longer; five innings is about his max these days. His ERA is 4.15 as we head into the final full month of the season. That’s not good enough in a National League pennant race. James Russell is becoming a question mark, though he didn’t give up any earned runs. Still, the hard hit balls count, and he has had several appearances with similar outcomes.

Maddon made a few decisions worth second-guessing. His walk of Votto with first and second base occupied was unorthodox, but Votto has been the best hitter in the league in the second half. More puzzling was a double steal attempt with two outs and the tying run on base in the eighth. Bryant was thrown out at second base, which ended the threat before Castro had a chance at the plate.

The Cubs will have some new faces come Tuesday, when rosters can expand to up to 40 players for the rest of the season. Expect Javier Baez to join the team along with newcomer Austin Jackson. David Ross is expected back from family medical leave, and the Cubs should call up some arms as well. CJ Edwards will probably be one of them, but he has been on paternity leave.

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Robin Deakin is Back in the Win Column

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“Rockin” Robin Deakin, cruelly branded ‘Britain’s worst boxer’ by the national press in the UK – before using the tag for his own promotional ends – has taken the first crucial step to regaining his British licence by getting a much needed win on Saturday, defeating Latvia’s Deniss Kornilovs by 4 round points decision at London’s famous York Hall, winning every round.

Having won on his debut in 2006, the 26-year-old proceeded to lose his next 51 fights, and was relieved of his British boxing licence as a result.

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But Robin, 29, from Tilbury, Essex, proved all his critics wrong by beating Latvian Deniss Kornilovs on points on Saturday night after four gruelling rounds.

After 17 months out of the ring, Deakin outpointed Latvia’s Deniss Kornilovs over four rounds at London’s York Hall on a show licensed by the Malta Boxing Commission.

Now Robin, whose speech is slurred because of too many blows to the head, said: “I’m a fighter. I’m going to fight my way back to the top – you’ll see.

“All those people that called me Britain’s worst boxer can eat their words – they just made me punch harder.

“People saying I’m the worst made me stronger.

“I did everything different this time and worked my hardest – and it showed.”

The lightweight, who was boxing under a licence from Malta because he wasn’t good enough to keep a British Boxing Board of Control licence.

He fought and won at York Hall in Bethnal Green, east London, the venue where he emerged victorious in his debut – and lost 13 other bouts.

Robin said: “I’m over the moon. My trainers Mike and Dave Jennings of Jennings’ Gym got me in the best shape of my life.

“They taught me a lot – and they knew I had the ability to turn my career around.

“I’ve been really unlucky in some of my fights – ones I deserved to win but didn’t.

“Saturday night was tough, don’t get me wrong. I got the chance to finally show what I can do.”

Journeyman Robin won on points at the end of the four, three-minute rounds, 46 to 43.


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Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City ChiefsWho: Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs

When: Friday, August 28, 7 PM CT

Where: Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Missouri

Last Meeting: The Titans and Chiefs squared off in Week 1 of the 2014 season at Arrowhead Stadium. The Titans defeated the Chiefs 26-10. Alex Smith threw three interceptions in the game, and it was one of only two wins the Titans had in the entire 2014 season.

When you glance at the NFL preseason schedule in its entirety, from the first day of training camp until the last day before the regular season begins, the first 45 minutes of the third preseason game could be the most critical.

In what has become custom with nearly every team in the league, those minutes serve as the final warm-up, the final run-through that the starters will likely see before Week 1 of the regular season.

The Tennessee Titans head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in both teams third preseason game.

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As Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) head coach Andy Reid confirmed on Wednesday, he plans to play his first team for the majority of the game against the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on Friday night.

The Chiefs are 2-0 so far in the preseason. Their most recent win was 14-13 against the Seattle Seahawks. Jeremy Maclin looked more involved in the offense and scored his first touchdown for the Chiefs.

The Tennessee Titans are 1-1 so far in the preseason. They are coming off a 27-14 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The Titans are looking to rebuild and rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota is now the cornerstone of the franchise.

With a month of preseason work having come and gone, the Chiefs and Titans will hold their final dress rehearsal on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue JaysRogers Centre
Aug. 28-30

Friday, 7:07 p.m.
LH Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.88) vs. RH R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.26)

Saturday, 1:07 p.m.
RH Buck Farmer (0-2, 7.80) vs. RH Drew Hutchison (12-2, 5.06)

Sunday 1:07 p.m.
RH Alfredo Simon (11-8, 4.89) vs. LH Mark Buehrle (13-6, 3.45)

The Toronto Blue Jays return to the Rogers Centre after an eight-game road trip, having gone 6-2, outscoring their opponents 67–35 in the process.

Entering a weekend series against the Detroit Tigers, the Blue Jays are looking to add to their 1.5-game lead in the AL East with victories against a scuffling Tigers squad that has taken losses in six of their last seven outings.

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Toronto (71-56) totaled 54 runs while batting .347 in a five-game win streak that ended with Thursday’s 4-1 defeat to Texas. The Blue Jays went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position while nearly getting shut out for the first time in seven weeks.

Edwin Encarnacion saved his team from that fate with an RBI double in the eighth inning that extended his hit streak to 22 games, the longest in the majors this season. The Blue Jays had their division lead against the idle New York Yankees cut to 1 1/2 games after wrapping up a 6-2 road trip.

Toronto, easily the MLB leader with 689 runs and the winner in 21 of 26, will try to get back on track in its first matchup against Matt Boyd (1-4, 7.04 ERA). The left-hander was traded from the Blue Jays to Detroit on July 30 in the David Price deal.

The Tigers (60-67) have continued to struggle in close games lately and fell 2-0 to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Detroit has dropped six of seven, with five losses by two runs or fewer.

Detroit took two of three from visiting Toronto in early July and dealt R.A. Dickey an 8-3 defeat in the middle game of the series. The knuckleballer gave up five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

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Premier Boxing Champions 2015: Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares

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Premier Boxing Champions has put together a highly-anticipated matchup between Mexican-born Los Angelinos Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares . One of the most anticipated featherweight showdowns will take place Saturday in Los Angeles. WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KO) is stepping up to featherweight to take on former three-division champion Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KO) in a battle of respected Mexican fighters.

While Santa Cruz and Mares were once darlings of the sport thanks to their potential and penchant for exciting fights, both have come under criticism of late for facing a string of soft opposition.

That changes here, as either Santa Cruz or Mares has the opportunity to propel himself back into the fans’ good graces. No matter the result, the Santa Cruz-Mares pairing has the potential for fireworks, and at the very least, it will be entertaining to see both boxers face a worthwhile test. The 12-round 126-pound contest takes place at the Staples Center on Saturday night

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Fighter backgrounds:

A two-division world champion with a fan-friendly style, the 26-year-old Santa Cruz won his first world title in 2012 before adding another belt in 2013, which he defended four times. Unbeaten as a pro, Santa Cruz moved up in weight in his last fight and handily defeated Jose Cayetano on the pay-per-view undercard of the record-breaking Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, Santa Cruz faces the toughest challenge of his career when he squares off against the Mexican warrior Mares.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and fighting out of Downey, Calif., Mares first tasted world championship gold in 2011 when he beat Joseph Agbeko to win the bantamweight world title. He continued his rise up the pound-for-pound list with wins over Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce De Leon to win world titles at super bantamweight and featherweight respectively. The 29-year-old has won three straight fights including his first PBC appearance in a victory over Arturo Reyes in March. He will look to add another career milestone and take hometown bragging rights by defeating the unbeaten Santa Cruz.

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