Posts Tagged ‘Abner Mares’

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.

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Showtime is airing a very good triple-header this weekend headlined by the super bantamweight unification matchup between WBC titleholder Abner Mares and WBA champ Anselmo Moreno. The young Mares has had one of, if not the most challenging opposition level in boxing over the last few years and perhaps faces his biggest hurdle in Moreno, who’s an excellent counter-puncher and defensive fighter.  Rouding out the card is IBF bantamweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz taking on Victor Zaleta, and former junior middleweight top contender Alfredo Angulo continuing his comeback against Raul Casarez. And for those who need even more of a boxing fix, WBO light-heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly will defend on Showtime Extreme against Shawn Hawk.

Below are quote highlights from the main participants following their last media workout earlier this week.



You can expect a more mature, focused and ready Abner than you ever have seen before.  I’m ready to fight.  I’ve been through the most aggressive, best training camp ever.  I feel great, I probably could have taken this whole week off and just concentrated on my weight.

This will be a very good fight, a very tough one that will bring out the best in me and the best in both of us.  This is the kind of fight the fans want, a pretty even fight you could say, between two world champions going at it from the opening bell.

I think this could be a more mentally exhausting fight than a physically exhausting one for me.  I know I have to be mentally sharp.  With Moreno’s style, if you miss, you cannot become frustrated.  You have to keep working and that is one of the biggest keys for me.


My style is what it is.  I’m an elusive fighter, the kind of fighter that hits and doesn’t get hit.  My style is one that makes you watch at all times.

I’ve fought the same way since I was younger.  I learned that lesson when I was fighting in the streets when you need to stay smart all the time and not just brawl.


I was pretty happy with my performance when I became the first to knock out Eric Morel, but I really didn’t think it was that big a deal.  I was really surprised at how excited fans and the media were after watching it.  I remember reading what they had to say about me and the fight.

I guess I left a pretty good impression, but now I need to do it again.  All the nice words only serve to give me more motivation.  The Morel fight was a good start, but I want to do this for a long, long time.

 I know Zaleta is a really good pressure fighter who likes to come forward and punch.  This is going to be a really good fight.  I can’t wait.


No words can describe how excited I am to be able to fight again and to be able to do it in my hometown is even better.

I always knew that one day I would be free to fight again, the question was always when.

(On why he decided to grow his hair long for Locks Of Love)

I’ve always believed that for every bad thing that happens in life, something good would come out of it.  My hair was getting long anyway and one day I got on the internet and did some research and found out about Locks Of Love.

I never planned to do anything for charity until I read about it.  You need to donate at least 10 inches of your hair.  I haven’t had a real haircut in a while and I still have a little ways to go, but once it is long enough, that’s where my hair is going.


I’m excited.  This is as big as it gets for me.  I’ve worked very hard for this opportunity and now that it’s here I have to take advantage of it.

I most definitely feel they are making a mistake by fighting me.  There are a lot of 154-pounders who were willing to take this fight, but they chose the wrong guy and they can’t change their minds now.

I’m hungry like you wouldn’t believe.  I want it like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s Showtime!  Angulo had his time, but now it’s my turn.


I’m very excited for Saturday and fans can look forward to a good fight and a good performance by me.

It’s fantastic to be fighting on SHOWTIME EXTREME and I thank everyone involved for making it happen.

I’m definitely relieved that I finally have an opponent.  Now, I can relax.  The downside, if you want to call it that, is that I trained 10 weeks for a southpaw, but I’m just happy we have a fight.

I’m sure my opponent is going to give it everything.  He’s a colorful, a come-forward type of fighter who can bang.  I expect it to be tough.  He’ll be fighting me with nothing to lose.

The Showtime tripleheader airs live from the Staples Center on November 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The Showtime Extreme portion of the card begins at 8 p.m. ET/PT

LOS ANGELES, CA — WBC super bantamweight belt-holder Abner Mares and WBA titlist Anselmo Moreno met yesterday at ESPN Zone LA Live to formally announce their November 10 unification match at the Staples Center.

The card will be filled out with the return of Alfredo Angulo against Raul Casarez, the former now under the wing of Andre Ward trainer Virgil Hunter. IBF bantamweight champ Leo Santa Cruz will also be on the card against an opponent yet to be determined.

Here are the highlight quotes from the main participants yesterday.


It’s an honor to be headlining at STAPLESCenter, but I really don’t think about it. I’m just excited to be fighting a guy like Chemito, who people say is a pound-for-pound fighter, which he is. The fans have been asking for a fight like this for a long time. I think they’re happy that it is going to happen.

I’m also excited for my hometown fans and friends, who’ll get the chance to see this fight live, but I know I can’t get caught up with stuff like that. This is a big fight for me, for both of us, and a great opportunity to showcase my talents.

Chemito hasn’t lost in 10 years. He is a very difficult fighter, very talented, a technical, defensive fighter who knows his way around a ring. This is a tremendously hard fight for me, but one I wanted. I’ve been training very hard.

I don’t want people to like me; I want them to respect me. I want to fight the best. The big winners on Nov. 10 will be the fans.

I’d like to thank everyone responsible for making it happen. I look forward to defending my title and giving it all I have.



After I beat Vic Darchinyan, I made a challenge to all the top fighters at 118 and 122. I got this offer and I took it. I am moving up to 122 pounds because that’s where the money and the big names are.

I wanted a challenge at 122 pounds and this is a big one. This is a great opportunity. Abner Mares is a great champion. I’m looking forward to Nov. 10 and fighting a fellow champion of the world.

After this fight I will sit down with my team to see what I want to do next – whether I want to stay at 122 or move back down to 118.



I think people really started noticing me after my last fight against Morel. I go places now and people recognize me more than ever before.

It’s great to be fighting again so soon and I thank everyone involved for keeping me busy. I’ve been training really hard, and I think I’m getting better with each fight. It doesn’t matter who I fight because I train the same for all of them and will never underestimate any opponent.

 This will be my first fight at Staples so it is very exciting for me. I hope a lot of people come out.


I really want to thank my lawyers, everybody really, who helped clear up all my visa issues so that I could fight again. Without them, there is no way I would be in L.A. today and getting ready for a fight.

I also want to thank Golden Boy and Showtime. I’m working now with Virgil Hunter and will be very prepared to go at it on Nov. 10.

It’s really great to be back in business, doing what I really want to do.


Mares vs. Moreno is a 12-round battle for Mares’ WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship promoted by Golden Boy Promotions taking place on November 10 at STAPLESCenter in Los Angeles. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at the STAPLES Center Box Office.


Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno were too much for their Showtime boxing opponents last Saturday (April 21) in respective impressive wins over Eric Morel and David De La Mora.

Moreno’s victory was a clinic of precision punching. In the second, De La Mora was hurt badly to the body with a straight left for a knockdown. De La Mora’s offense for the remaining rounds was reduced to wild flurries and lunging punches, the latter Moreno effectively countered with right hooks. Every time De La Mora went to the ropes, Moreno abused him with hooks downstairs. By the start of the ninth, the punishment was too much and De La More retired on his stool.

Abner Mares had a much more competitive time with Eric Morel, who he bulled past for a unanimous decision win. After a solid first round that saw Morel counter well from the outside, the veteran was wobbled by a succession of Mares’ hooks inside. By the fifth round, Mares’ was timing Morel’s jab with thudding overhand rights. While Morel would never fold and land well in every round, Mares’ pressure and power shots continually forced him to give ground. By the championship rounds, Morel had succeeded in drawing blood from Mares’ nose. Nonetheless, Mares would continue dominating the action with hard hooks. Morel made a definitive stand in the 12th, fighting Mares toe-to-toe for a thrilling finish. Final scores read 120-107 and 119-109 twice for Mares, who picked up the vacant WBC super bantamweight title.

With both Mares and Moreno at the top of their games and Golden Boy stable mates, the obvious question would be is the time ideal for these two to meet? It’s a classic contrast in styles with Mares the aggressive boxer-puncher and Moreno the highly-skilled technician. There are indeed other lucrative and crowd-pleasing alternatives for both like Nonito Donaire for Mares and Jorge Arce for Moneno. But considering those men are signed with contentious Golden Boy rival Top Rank, the odds are not good that either of those fights come off. In fact, the stronger likelihood is that Arce and Donaire end up fighting each other next.

While Golden Boy would surely like to let these two build separately for as long as possible, Mares vs. Moreno is definitely a fight that needs to be considered sooner rather than later. One of the big selling points of Mares is he’s one of the few young fighters that hasn’t been coddled with soft touches. He’s not looked back since stepping up to face elite fighters in 2010, having fought no less than a Top 5 fighter since. Facing Moreno would be more of the same. In addition, a loss at the lower weight classes is not viewed as a devastating setback as we many times see in the higher divisions. If the fight is good (and it should be), neither Moreno nor Mares would find their marketability damaged should they lose.

What do you think? Is it time for Mares vs. Moreno, or should this fight be left to build?

Showtime Boxing takes an intimate look at the humble beginnings and rise of IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares. Golden Boy’s first homegrown champ will make his super bantamweight debut this Saturday (April 21) when he faces Eric Morel for the WBC title.

Last Saturday (December 3), Abner Mares overcame an early cut to outwork and even stun Joseph Agbeko in the late rounds to score a well-deserved unanimous decision. Mares’ redeemed himself from their foul-filled first encounter earlier this year and laid solid claim to being the best bantamweight in the world. On the undercard, Anselmo Moreno arrived on the national scene with a great performance against favored Vic Darchinyan. Moreno completely befuddled Darchinyan with precision straight lefts and digging body shots in route to a lopsided decision win. Hopefully the winners, both under Golden Boy Promotions, face off in early 2012.

Mares: 117 lbs.

Agbeko: 117 lbs.

PREDICTION: Their first bout was a good scrap that turned into a travesty courtesy of a horrid referee. Agbeko is the older fighter and you never know when it will catch up with him. Mares has a high-paced style and it clearly had Agbeko out of sorts early on. This is a toss-up, but I’m going with Agbeko by close decision mainly because I think the late rounds of the fight fight showed him how to box Mares, and the Ghanaian fighter has shown he can make great adjustments for return bouts (Yhonny Perez rematch).

Moreno: 118 lbs.

Darchinyan: 117 lbs.

PREDICTION: Moreno is a good, discplined whose advantages in height and reach will give Darchinyan some problems. Hoever, Darchinyan looked great balancing his brawling and boxing abilities in April against Yhonny Perez. Darchinyan handspeed and footspeed are better than Moreno even at 35, so he’ll be able to close the gap and force exchanges where Darchinyan’s power will be the difference. Moreno tastes the canvas at least once and loses a unanimous decision.

Don King is pleased his fighter Joseph Agbeko will get an immediate rematch to his highly controversial, low blow-filled loss to Abner Mares last Saturday (August 13) in Showtime’s bantamweight tournament final.

Referee Russell Mora has been at the center of the controversy. He allowed Abner Mares to repeatedly land low blows throughout the fight’s 12 rounds. In the 11th, he ruled a blatant low blow a knockdown which took away a round Agbeko was winning and assisted in Mares winning a majority decision.

In a letter to King, IBF president Daryl J. Peoples ruled that due to Mora’s “inappropriate conduct,” Mares must defend his newly won title by December 14.

[IBF Chairman] Mr. Tucker and I observed several low blow fouls committed by Abner Mares.  While the referee, Russell Mora, issued numerous warnings for low blows during the course of the bout, he neglected to deduct points for these fouls.  With 1:03 left in round eleven, Joseph Agbeko was hit with a low blow foul that forced him to the canvas.  Mr. Mora determined that the blow landed by Mares was legal and began to count indicating that a knockdown had occurred.

Based upon our review of the bout, it has been determined by the IBF that inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight.

In accordance with IBF/USBA Rule 3.D., the IBF is ordering a rematch between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares for the IBF Bantamweight title which must be held within the next 120 days or by December 14, 2011. 

While satisfied with the IBF’s decision, Don King believes that Russell Mora should be investigated to determine any outside motivations that caused his in-ring performance.

“It was a triple-blow against boxing by hurting fighters, discrediting world championship boxing and the great state of Nevada, where so many of boxing’s most memorable bouts have been staged,” King said. “This has caused an undeserved negative shadow over Nevada. There should be an investigation to clear any and all doubts as to what occurred in this fight. The people deserve to know more about whatever caused this man to do what he did.”

Per the IBF’s ruling, the Agbeko-Mares rematch must be held within the next 120 days with neither fighter being able to have an interim bout. Rematch negotiations between Mares’ promoter, Golden Boy, and Agbeko’s, Don King Productions, must begin immediately and be completed by September 15. If that date is missed, the IBF will call a purse bid.

At press time, Abner Mares nor Golden Boy Promotions has commented on the IBF’s ruling.





The atrocious performance of referee Russell Mora in last Saturday’s Joseph Agbeko-Abner Mares matchup is still the talk of boxing. As expected, a video recap has surfaced on the numerous low blows landed with impunity on Agebeko throughout the 12 round contest. Do I think Golden Boy paid off Mora? No. But I do think he showed disgraceful bias and none of the poise required to handle a big fight atmosphere. If the Nevada State Athletic Commission has any sense, this is the last time we’ll see Mora in a high-profile bout.

“This is the worst officiated fight I’ve seen in years…” – Al Bernstein

LAS VEGAS, NV — A surging Joseph Agbeko had his hopes of a late comeback to retain his title dashed when referee Russell Mora incorrectly ruled a low blow a knockdown, giving Abner Mares a world title and Showtime’s first ever bantamweight tournament.

Early on, Abner Mares’ physical strength and punching accuracy had the champion on his heels and confused. Mares took the first round big behind hard left hooks (some straying low) to the body. Agbeko’s balance issues hurt him as a missed left hook resulted in slip that was ruled a knockdown. Mares finished the round strong with several flush straight rights and continued his momentum in the second and third with consistent pressure.

Agbeko attempts to punch with Mares and brawl were ill-advised; the challenger’s left hooks repeatedly landed first, and in close Mares’ thudding body shots forced Agbeko to give ground. However, these shots also mixed in regular low blows, causing referee Russell Mora to be on multiple warnings by the end of the third.

Agbeko finally round his range in the fourth. The under-seiged champion kept Mares at bay with his superior jab and had his best moment when he momentarily stunned Mares with the best punch of a night; a flush, reverberating straight right. Mares responded with inside work in the fifth, but also received more low blow warnings sans point deductions.

A clash of heads in the sixth resulted in a bad cut above Mares’ left eye, and the injury seemed to help slow him down enough to aid Agbeko’s comeback. The Ghanaian champion lowered his left hook output and began scoring well with right hands in the seventh and eighth stanzas. By the ninth, it was Agbeko who was now doing the better inside fighting with digging hooks whenever Mares made it past the jab.

The fight was on the table in the championship rounds. Agbeko continued his surge in the 10th behind his straight rights. Inside, he added uppercuts on the rushing Mares to great effect. Amazingly, several more of Mares’ hooks strayed low, but again resulted in no deductions from Russell Mora.

Mora’s bad officiating reached its zenith in the 11th. Agbeko started the round with a solid 1-2 followed by another scoring right hand. Mares got inside and Agbeko stood his ground, forcing both men into an exchange. One of Mares’ shots, a left hook, landed flush on Agbeko’s groin right in front of Russell Mora. As Agbeko crumpled to the canvas in pain, Mora ushered Mares away and began a 10 count to the outrage of the fans. Agebeko beat the count, and his corner had to be restrained by ringside security as they berated a sheepish Mora for his fight-changing call.

Sensing the fight was his, Abner Mares back pedaled and stayed away from any toe-to-toe fighting in the 12th. Agbeko, having suffered rounds of low blow punishment, still pushed the fight and refused to retaliate despite now being unable to land the knockout blow needed to win.

The scorecards reflected how Mora’s bad call directly altered the fight’s outcome. One judge had the contest a draw, 113-113. The two others scored it 115-111, giving Abner Mares his first ever title win.

Agbeko had to be restrained from going after Mora even before the scorecards were read. Mora agreed to an on camera interview with Jim Gray. After seeing the replay he refused to admit he had made a bad call, saying he needed to see more “angles.” He also directly contradicted his in-fight actions, now claiming the low blows he gave repeated warnings for were “on the belt line.”

Mares’ previous tournament win also had low blow controversy after Vic Darchinyan complained he was constantly hit low and created a video to show the missed calls. Mares suffered one point deduction in that bout.

After seeing the low blow knockdown on replay, Mares said it was the referee’s call and asked that his moment as a new champion not be spoiled by controversy. When pressed about his low blow history, Mares justified it by claiming his opponents made them happen by grappling and pushing his head down.

“The referee stole my title!” exclaimed Agbeko in his post-fight interview. “You can’t be the bantamweight champion with the referee fighting for you. Boxers from Africa, they always try to cheat them.”

At press time, Joseph Agbeko plans on filing a formal protest with the IBF on Monday (August 14).


I couldn’t believe what I was watching last night. It’s a shame that an otherwise excellent tournament had to be sullied by an inept referee. His performance has opened up a lot of questions about bias or even an outright payoff. At best Russell Mora has shown himself incapable of handling a big fight atmosphere. At worst he shown clear fighter bias or that he takes payoffs. Either way this needs to be the last boxing match that Russell Mora officiates.