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Top Super Bantams Moreno, Mares Clash Tonight

Big fight night this evening at Staples Center in Los Angeles with two of the world's top super bantams, Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno, facing off for the WBC belt.

Mares, 24-0-1 (13), holds the WBC crown after moving up from a two bout reign as IBF bantam titlist, battering veteran Eric Morel for 12 rounds in April to capture the vacant 122 pound belt.

Southpaw Moreno, 33-1-1 (12), will be making his maiden voyage at super bantam, moving up from bantam after 10 defenses of the WBA strap.

This fight should be an exciting match but also has the potential to be a sloppy affair given Mares' willingness to hit opponents anywhere from the knees on up and Moreno's very awkward lefty style.

Mares will likely show an aggressive approach in the early rounds, coming forward and throwing everything but the kitchen sink but Moreno's superb parry and thrust style of counter-offensive could make the Mexican become more selective as the bout goes into the middle rounds.

If Moreno can discourage Mares from mounting a continuous 12 round high volume attack, we could well see the champion outboxed and outpointed but if Mares can get Moreno on the run and prevent the Panamanian from going on the offensive, he should keep the WBC title.

There are two more world title bouts on tap, with IBF bantam boss Leo Santa Cruz and WBO light heavy king Nathan Cleverly in action.

Local man Santa Cruz, 21-0-1 (12), meets Mexico's Zaleta, 20-2-1 (10), in what should be a hard fought 12 rounder. Santa Cruz shot to prominence earlier this year with a vacant IBF title win over Vusi Malinga before rubbing out Eric Morel in a five round defense in September.

Zaleta has largely boxed at regional title level in Mexico as a super flyweight, stepping up in 2011 during a failed bid to unseat masterful WBO 115 pound champion Omar Andres Narvaez.

It's a hard ask of Zaleta to step up in weight for the first time against a burgeoning young champion in his prime, and Santa Cruz is definitely the favorite to win.

Cleverly, 24-0 (11), is coming all the way from Wales, fighting outside the UK for the first time since a Las Vegas appearance in 2008 and will be putting his WBO bauble on the line for the third time.

Facing the Welshman will be Shawn Hawk, 23-2-1 (17), a former top cruiserweight prospect who lost to Matt Godfrey in 2009 before dropping down to light heavy, losing last time out to undefeated novice Eleider Alvarez in June.

Expect Cleverly to outpoint Hawk or produce a late round stoppage.

About Richard Eberline

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