Leo Santa Cruz, right, lands a punch against Abner Mares during the seventh round of their WBC diamond featherweight and WBA featherweight championship boxing bout, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok) ORG XMIT: LAS121

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LOS ANGELES – It was a night of flurries and fury and if Leo Santa Cruz can take the right steps to become one of boxing’s fresh superstars, his victory over Abner Mares on Saturday night could prove to be a critical turning point.

USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers writes that in a wildly entertaining battle for Los Angeles bragging rights between a pair of punchers with popular roots in the area, Santa Cruz’s length and smarts proved enough to give him a majority 12-round decision at the Staples Center.

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