Posts Tagged ‘Abner Mares’

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Showtime Sports is live-streaming today’s weigh-in featuring WBC featherweight titlist Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez, and Leo Santa Cruz against WBC super bantamweight title-holder Victor Terrazas. You can check out the event on Ustream or Showtime Sports at the 3 p.m. ET start time. The card kicks off tomorrow at 8 p.m. on Showtime with live undercard bouts. The two championships bouts will air at 10 p.m. following the debut of All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo.

****UPDATE, FULL WEIGH-IN FOOTAGE****

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If you’ve been keeping up with the press for this Saturday’s Showtime double-header featuring Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz vs. Victor Terrazas, you’ve heard a recurring theme from all four men that they intend to put on a great fight in the “Mexican tradition.” What that essentially means is a lot of brutal exchanges, machismo, and ultimately a thrilling KO. Half the time, promises of breath-taking battles are hyperbole, but it’s hard to doubt this group. At yesterday’s final press conference, all four gave their last pitches as to why tomorrow night will be Mexican warfare at its finest. Mares’ WBC featherweight title will be on the line while Terrazas defends his WBC super bantamweight strap.

Be sure to check back later today at 3 p.m. for a link to the today’s weigh-in. Saturday’s card will start immediately following the premiere of All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo at 10 p.m. ET. In addition, make sure to check out Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m. ET for the undercard bouts featuring Antonio Orozo vs. Ivan Hernandez, Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Noel Mendoza, and Dominic Breazeale vs. Lenroy Thomas.

 

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OSCAR DE LA HOYA

Jhonny Gonzalez brings a lot to the table and is fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Abner Mares. I believe they have Abner at No. 5, but I have to disagree with that. I  put him up there at No. 3, if not No. 2. Jhonny knows he’s in for a tough fight. Abner knows he’s in for a tough fight. It’s going to be fireworks on Saturday night.

For the boxing fans in L.A., this is what boxing is all about and this is what they deserve. Abner Mares is a special talent that we are witnessing in our era. He’s a talent that doesn’t come around very often. He’s fought nothing but the best. We all know Gonzalez. He’s a machine who is a tough puncher and a very calculated puncher. Jhonny knows this is his opportunity. Everybody knows that.

When I first saw Abner fighting in the Olympics for Mexico in 2004 I just knew instinctively that he had that something that all champions have. There is no quit in his game and he has a long career ahead of him. And I wasn’t wrong about him. He’s already great and he keeps on proving it by wanting to only fight the best. And that’s what it takes to become great.

 

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ABNER MARES

I want to thank the entire Golden Boy staff for making this possible. I know them all, from the guy who cleans the office to the head honchos like Oscar and Richard (Schaefer). And I want to thank SHOWTIME. I’ve been a headliner like eight times and it’s just a huge blessing. I won’t disappoint. I promise you a great fight like I always do.

This is another tough fight, but I want to fight nothing but the best. Champion, ex-world champion, whoever you bring, whoever the fans want me to fight, you know I’ll fight. I like and admire Jhonny Gonzalez. I like his style of fighting and know his camp because (Ignacio) ‘Nacho’ Beristain was my trainer for three years. I know the style and it’s nothing but finesse and nothing but pureness.

I’ve seen my share of fights from StubHub in the stands, but now I’m ready to experience coming out and putting on a real show for the fans.

 

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JHONNY GONZALEZ 

I want to thank Golden Boy and everyone involved for making this fight happen. I am very prepared. A fighter always wants to fight the best and I am fighting the best in Abner Mares.

The question I’ve been asked the most is if I am looking at this as my last chance at the bigtime. Well, I am not. One way to stop getting this question from the media is to win on Saturday.

Every fighter wants to get a shot at the world title, and then to win it, but my body feels good and I still feel I have a lot of fight left in me. I’m not looking ahead, but I can see a possible move to super featherweight in the future.

I may have more knockouts than he has fights (actually, almost twice as many), but he had such a great amateur career than I think we are tied when it comes to experience.

I am sure the biggest winners will be the fans and the sport of boxing because this fight is going to be a total war.

 

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LEO SANTA CRUZ

I’d like to thank Golden Boy, SHOWTIME, my manager, Al Haymon and everyone else. I’m 100 percent ready. I’m ready for war. I know that Terrazas is very tough and this will be the hardest fight of my career. I know that he’s been through as much as I have to get to this point. The good thing is that the belt will stay with a Mexican no matter who wins. May the best man win.

We’ve trained really hard for this and we’re ready. My career depends on this so I have to just leave it all in the ring.

 

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VICTOR TERRAZAS

I think it is great to have so many Mexican fans behind me even though this fight is in his backyard. The support I am getting really makes me feel good.

We’re going to give the fans what they come out to see: a real fight with toe-to-toe, non-stop action.

As world champion, you have to defend against any and all comers. Every fight I’ve had, or he’s had, has been a war, and this will not be an exception. This is a great matchup, a fans’ fight. If I was a fan, I know for sure that I’d be watching.

I’ve studied a lot of tape on Santa Cruz. We’ll see on Saturday how it plays out. Fighters can change from fight to fight, but I know I am prepared and ready for anything. I think one of my best advantages is that I am shorter than he is and because of that I will be able to get inside.

 

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Mares vs. Gonzalez, a 12-round fight for Mares’ WBC Featherweight World Championship, will take place on Saturday, August 24 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.  The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® immediately following the series premiere of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Canelo at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.  Also featured will be a 12-round world championship showdown between WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor Terrazas and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz.  SHOWTIMECHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP).  Mares vs. Gonzalez is presented in association with Promociones Del Pueblo.  Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (8 p.m. ET/PT).

A day later it’s come as no surprise to anyone that Floyd Mayweather is still undefeated after a superb strategical performance against a clearly overmatched Robert Guerrero. The result was a wake-up call of sorts on a few fronts. For one, the fight is proof that rumblings of Mayweather’s physical decline were grossly premature. And secondly, the hope that  welterweight out there can give Mayweather a legit, tough challenge before he closes his career is a longshot at best. Nonetheless, there was a little intrigue in and out of the ring this weekend. Let’s get right to it.

 

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GABRIEL ROSADO ROBBED BLIND: There is no other way to state this. J’Leon Love and Gabriel Rosado opened the pay-per-view with a hard-fought battle that saw Love open up an early lead with good counter-punching off the backfoot. The fight would change in the sixth when Rosado scored a heavy knockown off a counter right, and the contender from Philly would land the more telling blows over the final four rounds.

Two of the veteran judges, Dave Moretti and Glenn Trowbridge, were split in giving Love and Rosado respective one-point victories (95-94). An argument could be made for both, but it’s harder to argue the 95-94 score that Moretti gave Love, as he had the Mayweather Promotions fighter taking round nine (most ringside writers, including myself, had Rosado taking the last two rounds as he rocked Love in exchanges and forced him to hold multiple times). But the 97-92 card from Herb Santos? Keep in mind that’s with Rosado scoring a knockdown in the sixth, meaning that Santos only gave Rosado two rounds (the sixth and tenth).

Santos delivered a gift-wrapped present to Love and the fans knew it immediately, showering him with boos so loud we could barely hear his post-fight interview. Rosado showed a lot of balls taking a fight like this so soon after the beating he took from Gennady Golovkin, and it’s unfortunate that his efforts were not rewarded. He really shouldn’t even be fighting at middleweight. Hopefully this showing earns him another high-profile title shot, preferably at 154 against the winner of Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina

In regards to Santos, Rosado was of the opinion he should be fired for that score. Surprisingly, there was no real bitterness in him when he attended the post-fight press conference, and he appeared content in knowing who the true victor was.

I felt like I won the fight. I had a 10-8 round. We both fought with heavy hearts. There are no hard feelings. I fought my heart out. Everyone knows what happened. I don’t have anything to prove. I feel I deserve a shot at a world title. I came back from a tough loss, and felt I won tonight.

To his credit, J’Leon Love said he’s open to a rematch.

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SANTA CRUZ HANDLES MUNOZ: Last night was my first opportunity to see Golden Boy’s undefeated super bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz, and he sure didn’t disappoint in brutalizing veteran Alexander Munoz over five one-sided rounds. Santa Cruz had a distinct size and power advantage that he used accordingly to break down his opponent with vicious left hooks to the body and counter rights upstairs. Munoz was game, but his attempts to exchange with Santa Cruz to earn respect got him buckled legs and scrambled senses.

Santa Cruz’s seek and destory style and tall frame have drawn comparisons to Antonio Margarito, but where Santa Cruz differs from the Tijuana Tornado is in his accuracy. He connected on 52% of his total punches (219 of 424), and a staggering 57% of his power shots (183 of 323). The last three rounds were especially brutal in Santa Cruz holding a 135-26 edge in connects, culminating with Munoz being sent crashing into the bottom rope for the stoppage.

This was the 34-year old Munoz’s first major fight at super bantamweight and Santa Cruz’s beating was enough to convince him to hightail back to 118 pounds.

“The inactivity hurt me,” said Munoz, who’s only fought four times over the last three years. “I have to go down in weight; this weight was too much for me. Santa Cruz is very good but he hasn’t improved. I landed a lot of punches.”

As for what’s next for Santa Cruz, there is talk among fans of what would be an explosive battle against the fighter below who also shined on the card.

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MARES KOs PONCE DE LEON: Abner Mares notched another career-highlight in disposing of his good friend and power-puncher Daniel Ponce de Leon. The intrigue with this fight was if Mares, making his debut at a third weight class in featherweight, could handle the brutish strength of Ponce de Leon. What we should have been asking was if Ponce could handle Mares’s power, as he scored to big knockdown to force a ninth round stoppage.

What’s always impressed me about Mares is how he modifies his gameplan for each fight. With Anselmo Moreno, he applied constant pressure. With Ponce, he was mostly patient and jarring Ponce with flush counter shots before unleashing flurries of power shots when Ponce was trapped on the ropes. Ponce got dropped by a left hook in the second, but never quit and succeeded in stunning Mares a few times with his dangerous southpaw left.

In the end, Ponce’s recklessness would be his undoing. Mares drilled him with a right hook for the second knockdown, and forced the stoppage when Ponce got trapped on the ropes eating more flush shots. There were some complaints among the press (and definitely Ponce himself), since he was throwing back at the time ref Jay Nady stepped in, but the writing was on the wall and Nady saved Ponce some brain cells.

Although Leo Santa Cruz mentioned Jonathan Romero as a potential opponent, he acknowledged a Mares fight would be action-packed and a opportunity he wouldn’t turn down. If I were Golden Boy, I’d leave this two apart for now. For one, Mares has just picked up the WBC title at featherweight while Santa Cruz is trying to build his name further at super bantamweight. Santa Cruz just got to a new weight class so it makes no sense to move him up so quickly, and Mares definitely shouldn’t move back down. In addition, Mares has a huge experience edge in having fought the best fighters in his weight classes the last few years. Santa Cruz needs a lot more seasoning, and the Romero would be a good test.

I’m normally not a big advocate of the Bob Arum school of letting potential in-house action fights marinate forever (remember what happened with Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa), but I’d like to see Mares-Santa Cruz revisited sometime in 2014.

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ROBERT GUERRERO PROVES TO BE EAAAASY WORK: My prediction going into this fight was that Mayweather would stop Guerrero in the 10th round with the “competitive” portion of the fight ending around the fourth. An injury to Mayweather’s right hand prevented a potential stoppage, but the writing sure was on the wall regarding the outcome of this one as early as the third round.

Mayweather had got in a few clipping lead right hands in the first two rounds, but the third is when Floyd started to really snap Guerrero’s head back with the punch. From then on Mayweather couldn’t miss and made The Ghost look like a fool. He mixed it up by alternating between stabbing straight rights to the body, crosses down the middle, and whipping hooks around the guard. The fustration was clear on Guerrero’s face as the round’s and punishment built up. And when Guerrero became fixated on avoiding the right, Mayweather, as his father had guaranteed beforehand, started to smash Guerrero with left hooks.

Guerrero got hurt bad by a right hook late in the eighth that had him backpedaling over the last 20 seconds. At that point, it looked like this fight would go no more than two more rounds. Unfortunately, Mayweather hurt his hand somewhere around the 10th and per his defense-first mentality, Floyd took his foot off the gas and played it safe. The scores of 117-111 across the board reflected the dominance.

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The main reason I picked a Mayweather KO was Floyd’s track record of being more aggressive in walking down southpaws behind a high guard, as seen in his wins over Zab Judah, Sharmba Mitchell and DeMarcus Corley. Where my analysis was flawed is those fighters had faster hands than Guerrero and could take advantage of Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense. Guerrero was too slow to do any such thing — once Mayweather used his own speed to take away Guerrero’s lead hand with his own counter left jab, The Ghost was done for.

Guerrero dared not throw a lead left with the deadly right hands coming back his away. That second guessing allowed Mayweather to get off first with his impressive array of right hand leads. To put in perspective how badly Guerrero was shut down, the Ghost’s welterweight punch output per round was at 48 last night, down from his usual 78 punches per round. Guerrero’s jab was confined to 11% accuracy (32 of 291), 28% in power shots (81 of 290) and 19% in overall punches connected (113 to 581).

Mayweather’s footwork was excellent in keeping off the ropes and forcing Guerrero to constantly have to reset his offense. And the few times Guerrero tried to maul inside, Mayweather proved to be strong enough to hold his own and made sure to land short but stinging counters out of clinches.
You couldn’t ask for a better performane from a figher that’s 36 years old and competing in his 17 year of professional boxing.
MAYWEATHER VS. CANELO? NOT SO FAST: Of course, the main question most of us have is what’s next for Mayweather. The obvious name is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who did much to raise his profile in unifying the WBA and WBC light middleweight titles by defeating Austin Trout two weeks ago in front of 40,000 fans in San Antonio, Texas.

Although Mayweather and Canelo both said they plan to fight next on September 14, I’m more inclinded to believe Canelo gets the date himself and Mayweather takes another year off. A Mayweather-Canelo fight needs time for that pay-pre-view build in addition to the training, and Floyd can’t jump back into another camp until his hand heals. If the fight truly was a go for September, you can bet there would have been some inkling of it from Golden Boy or Mayweather last night. Instead, Floyd fell back on the old “I’ll have to discuss it with Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe.” The only thing confirmed was Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer stating Canelo for sure would be fighting on a September 14 pay-per-view. And I caught Schaefer mentioning Cotto as a potential opponent for that date.

Maybe Floyd fights someone else in September? I highly doubt it. To fight o Mexican Independence Day weekend, Floyd needs a marketable Mexican. Before, he had Juan Manuel Marquez and Victor Ortiz. There’s no one on Golden Boy’s roster that fits that bill these days except Canelo. Fights with Amir Khan or Devon Alexander on that date make zero sense.

Floyd as all about business first, so what’s makes better fiscal sense over sitting out in September to heal that right hand, letting Canelo increase his rep even further by knocking out Cotto, and then facing him in a huge 2014 pay-per-view during Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Let’s hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy the Mayweather-Guerrero card? Is the time right for Mayweather-Canelo?

 

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With the news of Canelo Alvarez vs. Austin Trout now happening on April 20, Golden Boy Promotions has elected to move Abner Mares vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon off that date and onto a co-feature spot on the May 4 Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero Showtime pay-per-view.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed the news earlier today. Mares vs. Ponce de Leon was originally set for April 20 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, which would have put it in direct competition with Canelo vs. Trout, set to take place in San Antonio.

At press time, Golden Boy is still considering adding Leo Santa Cruz and/or Alfredo Angulo to the May 4 card.

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Very smart move. No, Mares is not the ticket seller that Canelo is. However, he’s built a solid following with his high level of competition over the last few years, and there’s no conceivable way he and Ponce de Leon can have a dull fight.

Leo Santa Cruz is a brawling Mexican pressure fighter so he’d be welcomed against anyone on the card. The other word going around is that Golden Boy is pushing to try and secure Kirkland-Angulo II. Now if that comes off, it may very well steal the show.

Nonito Donaire, Jorge Arce

HOUSTON, TEXAS — WBO super-bantamweight titlist Nonito Donaire did what was expected of him in delivering a quick and vicious knockout of an undersized and outgunned Jorge Arce last night at the Toyota Center.

Arce attempted to box off the backfoot in the opening round, but that just left him open for right hands due to Donaire’s reach and height advantage. Arce began coming forward in the second and started to get timed by sweeping left hooks. However, it would be the right hand that scored the first knockdown. Arce rose and started going for broke, taking more power shots and tapping his gloves to taunt Donaire into delivering more punishment.

The proud Mexican was granted his wish in spades.

Arce walked into a sharp jab and straight right that landed behind the ear and badly wobbled him. Donaire followed up with two merciless lefts, an uppercut and hook, while Arce was trying gather himself with one glove on the canvas. The third and decisive knockdown came quickly with a left hook separating Arce’s fighting spirit from his frame and sprawling him on the canvas.

Arce commended Donaire on the vicory and confirmed his retirement.

“I promised my family if I lost I would quit,” said Arce. “I’m a gentleman and have a family to take care of.”

Donaire, who still has formidable challenges in his weight class, made his strongest statement to date in verifying who his next opponents will be.

“Bring ‘em all on!” stated Donaire. “I want to get [Abner] Mares because he called me out. If not we’ve got [Guillermo] Rigondeaux.”

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We’re going to hold you, and you’re promoter Bob Arum, to these words Nonito. Nobody took this Arce fight seriously, but having fought four times this year, it was no reason to crucify you over it as your competition overall has been solid. However, to consider yourself a top Pound4Pound fight, and a credible champion for that matter, fighting BOTH Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux should be your top goals for 2013. These two are far and away the best fighters in your division. And in Mares’s case, he has a valid claim that to have faced better competition recently.

Will Top Rank and Golden Boy put side their BS to make Mares-Donaire? Will Nonito keep his word and remain up for a Rigondeaux unification?

LOS ANGELES, CA — Showtime Sports delivered an excellent fight card last night capped off by a rough and tumble barnburner of a main event between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno at the Staples Center. Once again, Mares passed a stiff test and afterward did what we yearn for all top fighters do — he challenged the best fighter in his divsion to a unification match.

ABNER MARES UD12 ANSELMO MORENO: Mares vowed to make Moreno “uncomfortable” and pressure him, but I don’t think anyone envisioned the “bull in a china shop” offense Mares displayed for the majority of the fight. Mares was an animal; he cared nothing about accuracy, but made sure all his punches were landing somewhere on Moreno, who struggled to gain any type of distance to work his counters. Mares would bang the body with 4-5 punches at a time. And even though Moreno had good defense in picking off a lot of shots, the sheer volume from Mares ensured many were getting through and wearing him down.

Whenever Mares would take a breather, Moreno accuracy would shine. At mid and long range, Moreno would snap back Mares’ head with his southpaw staight left and right jabs. The problem for Moreno is that Mares, clearly the bigger man, could take this punches and would explode with flurries to push Moreno back on his heels. Mares began finding the range with the overhand and straight right and hurt Moreno for the first knockdown of his career in the fifth. At that point, Moreno was only saved by the bell and appeared to be on the way out of there.

Moreno took another pasting in the sixth, but hung tough and started landing big hooks with both hands in the seventh. Moreno’s best opportunity to score a KO came in the eighth when he stunned Mares with a heavy left hook. Mares went to the ropes for the first time and Moreno, although still cautious of a trap, teed off with a series of power shots to take the round despite a late Mares flurry.

Moreno finished strong in the championship rounds but lost a key point in the 11th for holding down Mares’s head. It was a bullshit call, especially considering the roughhouse tactics exhibited by Mares the entire fight (low blows, forearms, leading with his head). Moreno had won that round on my card but had to settle for 9-9 round with the deduction.

In the end, the fifth round knockdown and Mares’ dominance over the first half of the fight was enough to get him 116-110 scores on two cards (believable), and a ridiculous 120-106 score on the other card. I had it closer to the Showtime team’s scores of 114-112.

Mares made it clear in his post-fight interview that he wanted Nonito Donaire next and implored him and Top Rank to not let politics prevent an excellent fight. I have no doubt Mares is sincere; just a look at his track record over the last few years shows he wants to fight only the best. Donaire, unless he finally gets “excited” to face stablemate Guillermo Rigondeaux, has only this fight to take if he wants to remain credible at super bantamweight. Sadly, I have little faith that Golden Boy and Top Rank can put aisde their differencs to make it happen. If they do, I’d favor Donaire since I think he’s the guy, if anyone does have it at super bantamweight, that has enough power and accuracy to hurt Mares repeatedly.

LEO SANTA CRUZ TKO9 VICTOR ZALETA: What a bruising fight. Santa Cruz reminds me a little of Antonio Margarito the way he walks down fighters and works the body. What bodes better for Santa Cruz’s career is that his defense is a little better with his tight guard. That left hook he throws to the body is very effective. Zaleta gave it his all but Santa Cruz was just too big and powerful. The idea of Santa Cruz and Mares fighting, which the Showtime team was hyping, is salivating should Donaire not come to the table for Mares. Believe it or not, Mares actually weighs more than Santa Cruz at the moment. How Mares would adjust his strategy to a bigger and stronger fighter is intriguing.

Mares: 121.8

Moreno: 120.8

Prediction: This is a fight where you can easily see two outcomes: Mares’s youth and aggression overwhelming the older fighter, or Moreno’s higher technical skill and counterpunching taking the younger guy to school with a dominant boxing lesson. From a style standpoint, this is likely the toughest opponent Mares has faced on his phenomenal run over the last few years. I see Moreno frustrating Mares early on with his defense and picking off his rushes with that southpaw left hand. However, expect Mares punch output to keep the cards close and give him some moments inside during the later rounds. I see a controversial split decision that because of Mares’ aggressive style and the fact counter-punching, defensive fighters tend to get shafted by judges, goes Abner’s way.

Check the other weigh-in results for Leo Santa Cruz and Alfredo Angulo. With Anuglo, he may be outgrowing 154 — look at how guant he looks, especially around the stomach.