Golden Boy Promotions has confirmed that Jhonny Gonzalez’s first WBC featherweight title defense will be a February 15 rematch against Abner Mares at LA’s Staples Center.
Their first bout, held on August 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, produced boxing’s premier 2013 upset with Gonzalez scoring two big knockdowns off left hooks for a devastating first round TKO.
“Abner Mares gave me my shot and now I’m giving him his,” said Gonzalez in a statement. “I respect what he’s done in the ring and the heart he shows every time he fights, but I worked too hard for this to give it up now. I will keep my title on February 15.”
The loss was Mares’ first pro defeat (26-1, 14 KOs) and came just as the young champion was being considered by many observers as a Top 5 Pound 4 Pound fighter.
“I’d like to thank Jhonny Gonzalez for this opportunity. It will be an honor to fight him a second time,” stated Mares. “August 24 was his night and I take nothing away from him, but February 15 will be my night and I’m going to get my title back.”
Tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. PT via www.AXS.com and the Staples Center Box Office.
This is the most intriguing fight of early 2014. Gonzalez undoubtedly has to be the favorite with how easily he hurt and disposed of Mares back in August. Gonzalez will come in with the confidence of knowing one punch can end it. On the other hand, Gonzalez is the epitome of a streaky fighter and may show up flat after the high of the first fight. Elite fighters make adjustments, so we’ll see if this was a just a bump in the road or early proof that the featherweight jump is a little too much for Mares.