Posts Tagged ‘Abner Mares’

BeatsBoxingMayhem is providing a live stream of the weigh-in for Showtime’s double-header featuring Jermell Charlo vs. Austin Trout and Leo Santa Cruz’s rematch against Abner Mares. The link opens at 3 p.m. with the card airing Saurday night at 10 p.m. ET.



Check out the final press conference for the big rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. The live stream opens at 3:30 p.m. The two rivals square off this Saturday on Showtime at 10 p.m ET


Photo Credit: Suzanne Theresa/Premier Boxing Champions

LOS ANGELES — Leo Santa Cruz answered his critics in impressive fashion last night with a signature win over a determined Abner Mares. A majority decision (117-111 twice, 114114) in name only, Santa Cruz took over in the middle rounds and never looked back. And in doing so, Santa Cruz showed a previously overlooked trait — the ability to adjust a game plan and outsmart his opponent.

EARLY MAKINGS OF A CLASSIC: From the second the opening bell sounded, Mares was in Santa Cruz’s chest firing off blistering combos to the body and head. Santa Cruz, who’s used to being the aggressor, seemed surprised and unprepared for this strategy. His own offense was being smothered by clinches and rough-housing, and it appeared Mares was utilizing the strategy Shane Mosley had executed in the same building against Antonio Mosley six years earlier.

Unfortunately for Mares, his smaller frame couldn’t maintain the mauling and grueling pace. By the fifth, both fighters were bleeding from accidental butts, but Santa Cruz was the one gradually taking over as Mare’s aggression morphed to backfoot movement and labored counter-punching attempts.

HOW TO COMBINE VOLUME PUNCHING AND COUNTERPUNCHING: Mares’ inside combinations and lead power shots were his early successes, but his lack of creativity became an Achilles Heel over the bout’s second half. Santa Cruz was supposed to be the one-dimensional  slugger, but he was the fighter who adjusted his game by relying on his reach to time Mares’ telegraphed overhand rights.

By taking a step backward, Mares was left off-balance and in no-man’s land, where Santa Cruz safely clipped him with counter straight rights and hooks. And when Mares did make it inside, his mauling was nullified by Santa Cruz taking a quick side-step that put Mares out of position and susceptible to uppercuts and short hooks.

The adjustments resulted in Santa Cruz looking like the better technician while still maintaining a grueling pace that resulted in 1057 punches thrown.

THE DOMINANCE: I gave a lot a credit to Mares for his early body punching and had him up 4-2 after six. However, the last round Mares won on my card was the fifth, and Santa Cruz just overwhelmed him down the stretch. The sweep of rounds 6-12 gave Santa Cruz a 116-112 victory on my card.

“I stayed outside with the jab,” said Santa Cruz, who landed 71 jabs to Mares’s 7. “We were able to take control.
My dad told me that we could beat him by boxing. We want to be aggressive but tonight we had to box him too and that’s how we got it done.”

NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS: Santa Cruz is now the “super world” WBA featherweight champion and has options. Realistic in-house matchups are a Mares rematch, Julio Ceja (who scored a comeback KO in the co-feature), a unification with WBC titlist Gary Russell Jr., or Carl Frampton, who made his PBC debut last month. I’d prefer Frampton first, as style-wise we’d get an all-action bout with international flair. And Frampton is already on record stating he wants the fight.



JULIO CEJA TKO5 HUGO RUIZ: Julio Ceja peeled himself on the canvas to score a dramatic 5th round TKO over Hugo Ruiz. Ceja struggled with Hugo’s size and was dropped hard by a counter left hook in the third. After being saved by the bell, Ceja regrouped and scored his own knockdown off a left hook. But Ceja would not let his man recover and secured the stoppage with a barrage of power shots on the ropes.

ALEJANDRO LUNA TKO4 SERGIO LOPEZ: Prospect Luna kept his undefeated record (19-0, 14 KOs) by stalking and administering a brutal ending sequence of hooks to force a referee stoppage.

ALFREDO ANGULO RTD5 HECTOR MUNOZ: Alfredo Angulo continued his quiet comeback with an easy corner stoppage win. Munoz declined to come out for the sixth after being bloodied and floored in the previous round.


Photo Credit: Abel Madrid

LOS ANGELES — Former world champion Abner Mares opened up his Del Mares gym yesterday to give media a first-hand look of his preparations for the August 29 fight against Leo Santa Cruz.

Mares sees the long-awaited bout as a stepping stone to a shot against WBC featherweight titlist and fellow PBC fighter Gary Russell Jr.

“It’s great to be here at my gym on my home turf,” said Mares. “I started the hashtag #ThisIsMyTown because L.A. is my town. Leo can say whatever he wants but I’m at home and ready to put on a show.

This is definitely the biggest fight of my career. I’m ready to fight anyone. I want Gary Russell Jr. and all the great fighters at this weight. It’s just a matter of taking care of business one by one.”

Mares will come into the Santa Cruz fight nearly 2 years to the day he suffered his first and only defeat — an embarrassing first round knockout at the hands of Jhonny Gonzalez. The journey back to the elite level has been arduous, but one Mares feels has made him a better fighter.

“In my mind, after the loss, I left the top level of the game. I had to overcome some issues mentally, but now I’m back better than I ever have been. I’m going to go in there August 29ready to prove that. I’m going to make a statement that Abner Mares is back.”

Mares vs. Santa Cruz will air on ESPN.


Photo Credit: RBRBoxing

LAS VEGAS, NV — Boxing returned to primetime TV with Keith Thurman laying down his credentials as a star in the making by defeating Robert Guerrero (120-107, 118-109, 118-108) in a brutal, action-packed main event for Premier Boxing Champions.

The card was supported by Adrien Broner, who won his contest in easy and tedious fashion over a listless John Molina. Was the event perfect? No. But there were enough positives to make every boxing fan hopeful about what this series can pull off.


THURMAN’S HUNGER: While all the other boxers seemed tense about the event, Thurman went out from round one to put the entire welterweight division on notice. He attacked Guerrero with massive hooks, giving his southpaw foe plenty of opportunities to fire back. Thurman made sure more often than not that the fight was fought on his terms by keeping the exchanges at ring center and spinning away when his back touched the ropes.

Guerrero’s chin was tested every round and held up until the ninth when a corkscrew uppercut put him flat on the canvas. Instead of that being the end point, Guerrero would have his best work afterward in finally roughing up Thurman on the ropes in rounds 10 and 11, making the former and early Round of the Year candidate.

Since this fight was announced, Thurman has repeatedly told media that he wanted to show he was on Mayweather’s level by disposing of Guerrero in more decisive fashion.

Did he achieve that? Not quite — the young gun known has “One TIme” still has much learning to do in terms of defense and pacing. However, the sheer ferocity, hunger and refusal to coast to an easy victory (even with a bulging hematoma on the left side of his head) puts him levels above the majority of his PBC stablemates.

As of right now, Thurman is the young fighter Premier Boxing Champions should be pushing.


GUERRERO’S TOUGHNESS: What heart on Robert Guerrero. The way he collapsed after that uppercut knockdown, and the punishment he got in the corner before the bell sounded, appeared to signal the end. Guerrero instead dug deep, tapping into the “kill or be killed” base instinct in all of us to drag Thurman into a back and forth mauling battle. The sheer effort completely swung the crowd to Guerrero, creating multiple chants over the championship rounds (and boos for Thurman any time he retreated from engaging).

NEW BUSINESS: Thurman holds a version of the WBA title (Mayweather is the true champion) and can make good fights with next week’s Josesito Lopez-Andre Berto winner, the Roberto Garcia-Shawn Porter winner, Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana. With the possible exception of Maidana and Brook, Thurman would be the clear favorite in all those fights.

As for Guerrero, he still gives hell to any fighter that elects to stand in front of him. The losers of Lopez-Berto and/or Garcia-Porter could be options, along with Devon Alexander. Far as action and brutality, a matchup with another mauler in Shawn Porter would likely be the most TV friendly.


BRONER HANDLES MOLINA: A calmer Adrien Broner had little resistance from John Molina, scoring a wide unanimous decision win (120-108 twice, 118-110). Molina had promised a war but didn’t show the desire to push for one. Molina was content to try to wing telegraphed counter right hands which Broner evaded effortlessly. Outside of a very brief sequence in the third where Molina landed three left hooks inside, Broner thoroughly outboxed Molina behind his jab, left hooks and occasional flashy combinations that included uppercuts.

Broner admitted afterward that he didn’t press more because he felt that played into Molina’s hands and was the main reason why he lost to Marcos Maidana. It didn’t make for entertaining viewing, but most of the fault must be placed on Molina. Broner’s most exciting fights come when he faces fighters that bring the fight to him and aren’t intimidated by his fast hands. There are a few fighters that could fit that bill at 140 (Peterson, Matthysse, Provodnikov), but all of them have other fights on the table. At this rate, Emmanuel Taylor might be able to get a rematch by default.

Broner said he’ll be returning to the ring July 18 in his hometown of Cincinnati. Your guess is as good as mine as to who he’ll face. The timeframe lends itself to another B-level guy — perhaps the man who last beat Molina, Humberto Soto, will get the call.

“SICK” MARES BEATS REYES: Once a upon a time, Abner Mares was viewed as an arguable Top 5 P4P fighter. One Jhonny Gonzalez left hook later and he’s now the walk off bout to close Premier Boxing Champions. Mares won clearly on the cards (99-90, 98-91,96-93), but he looked worn out trying to keep up with Reyes’ pace. He later attributed the performance to waking up sick, but Mares hasn’t looked good for a long time. Fighters below 130 can burn out quickly, and it’s not inconceivable that Mares’ best days might be behind him (even at 29 with just one defeat).

If I’m Leo Santa Cruz, I smell blood and demand Mares get served up ASAP.

Michaels, Leonard and Albert

GRADING PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: Overall, Premier Boxing Champions put on a good show. The commentary between Al Michaels and Sugar Ray Leonard was flat in a lot of parts, but it’s not surprising the chemistry would be off going on 30 years since the last time NBC aired boxing. Marv Albert being there was good for credibility.

Laila Ali isn’t Harold Lederman, but I expect more of her personality to come out as the shows progress.

By the end of the year, Premier Boxing Champions TV should be a well-oiled machine.


Photo Credit: Naoki Fukuda

The weights are in for Premier Boxing Champions‘ debut show Saturday night (March 7). All the fighters looked to be in great shape with the lone blemish coming from Adrien Broner, who came in one pound over the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds. Initially, it was announced that Broner would have two hours to lose the weight. Then news broke that the contract allowed for the 141 pound weight, leading many to speculate that the contract had been renegotiated in light of Broner’s excess weight.

The card airs at 8:30 p.m. ET




Thurman: 147

Guerrero: 147

PREDICTION: Thurman UD12. Thurman will be a moving target and not give Guerrero the consistent mauling opportunities he needs to pull this one out. Thurman will land some heavy leather, but Guerrero has the chin to take it and go the distance.





Broner: 141

Molina: 140

PREDICTION: BRONER UD12. Wouldn’t be surprised by a late stoppage considering the talent gap, but if the Molina that fought Matthysse can be conjured up, Broner will play it safe and simply outbox Molina with his usual fast counters.



Abner Mares: 127

Arturo Santos Reyes: 126

PREDICTION: MARES TKO7. The only purpose of this fight should be to set up a showdown with Leo Santa Cruz. Mares is long overdue to step back up.

Ending with the lovely Laila Ali just because. She’ll be correspondent on tomorrow’s show.


Amir Khan vs Devon Alexander

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

What a difference a year makes. In 2013, Amir Khan was going life and death with the likes of Julio Diaz and literally begging for crumbs off Floyd Mayweather’s multi-million dollar pay-per-view empire. Tonight, Khan can make his challenge from a place of strength now that he’s secured the biggest win of his welterweight career in embarrassing Devon Alexander to a lopsided unanimous decision (120-108, 119-109, and 118-110) win at the MGM Grand.


MY DISTANCE, MY RULES: Khan established the battlefield as a mid and long-range contest, where Khan’s advantages in speed, height and reach made Alexander a sitting duck. Khan hit him at will with jabs, straight rights and mixed in a few hard body shots to keep Alexander guessing. When Alexander got inside, Khan was easily able to lock him up in clinches.

Alexander’s attempts to force the action made Khan look even better. He succeeded in tagging Alexander with counter left hooks. And with Alexander not possessing KO power, Khan was able to withstand the few times Alexander landed any consistent right hooks or straight lefts.

Amir Khan vs Devon Alexander

CREDIT TO VIRGIL: There has been a debate that Virgil Hunter’s measured style had robbed Khan of utilizing his natural physical gifts. This fight showed that their years together are starting to pay dividends. No, it’s not the wild Khan that goes for broke to get KOs. But it’s a smart Khan that frustrates opponents and keeps his most damning weakness (the chin) out of harm’s way.

CINCO DE KHAN?: “I really believe I earned my shot against the best fighter in the world, which is Floyd Mayweather,” Khan said in his post-fight interview. “I believe he’ll have problems with my speed, movement and accuracy. I’m going to leave it to my team and let’s hope we get that fight.”

Under usual circumstances, the idea of Mayweather-Khan on Cinco de Mayo 2015 sounds appealing. But with confirmed talks of Mayweather-Pacquiao and Canelo-Cotto competing for that date, Khan’s appeal falls to a distant third. As for the actual fight, nothing Khan’s win makes me believe Mayweather shouldn’t be the favorite.



Keith Thurman vs Leonard Bundu

Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) UD12 Leonard Bundu (31-1-2, 11 KOs): Keith Thurman picked the worst time have an underwhelming performance. Although he was never in danger of losing, Thurman’s shutout unanimous decision (120-107 on all cards) drew the constant ire of arena fans who booed the lack of action.

Thurman had scored a nice knockdown in the first with a sweeping left hook thrown from the southpaw stance. Bundu showed his mettle by landing a few left hooks any time Thurman would attempt to force the action with flashy combinations. This kept Thurman tentative to throw engage and relied on his speed advantage by potshotting from safe range. It piled up the points, but resulted in a monotonous pattern that produced booing as early as the fourth round.

For someone who called out Mayweather not even 24 hours earlier, this fight showed that Thurman needs a bit more seasoning when it comes to defense and offensive variety. Not surprisingly, Thurman and Bundu pointed fingers at the other for the dull nature of the fight.

“Bundu was a smart fighter,” Thurman said. “He was tricky and he switched. He came to not get knocked out and he was able to do that, but he was unable to win rounds. It was hard to time him because he was always switching it up, but we boxed smart. It was a great learning experience. 

“He was moving too much,” Bundu countered. “I don’t want to say he was running, but he was running. I got surprised in the first round when he dropped me, but I was fine after that.”

As for what’s next, Thurman acknowledged Marcos Maidana ringside and that he’d welcome the fight. That’s the type of bout I’d commend a young fighter like Thurman for taking.


Abner Mares vs Jose Ramirez

Abner Mares (28-1-1, 15 KOs) RTD5 Jose Ramirez (25-3-2, 15 KOs): This bout was a brawl from the outset with Mares’ superior skill allowing him to tee off inside with hooks. Mares scored three knockdowns with left hands and was able to strafe Ramirez at will with tripled left hooks. Ramirez looked demoralized after the last knockdown in the fifth but kept going to the bell. In the corner, he made it clear he’d had enough.

“Ramirez was a tough guy,” Mares said. “He took a lot of shots and he gave me a few, too. My corner was like, ‘Abner what are you doing? Use your distance.’ But I wanted to knock him out.”

“All I know is I’m going to be a four-time world champion. I’m going to conquer the featherweight division. Abner Mares is back. I want my rematch against Johnny Gonzalez. It’s going to happen.”

While exciting, there are concerns for Mares. He landed numerous flush power shots and Ramirez hardly blinked through most of them, making it clear that Mares’ power has been left at bantamweight. He’ll essentially be tasked with fighting perfect defensive and offensive fights against bigger, longer, more powerful and skilled guys like Lomachenko, Walters and Rigondeaux.

A Leo Santa Cruz bout is Mares’ best bet, and even then I believe Cruz’s size and workrate will eventually wear him down. The other wildcard bout is Mares’ insistence on rematching Jhonny Gonzalez. With the way Ramirez was occasionally able to get in clean left hooks, it’s hard to envision a Gonzalez rematch ending any differently.


Jermall Charlo vs Lenny Bottai

Jermall Charlo (20-0, 16 KOs) TKO3 Lenny Bottai (22-3, 9 KOs): This was a clear showcase fight with Bottai being a 37-year-old regional fighter from Italy that looked about two weight classes smaller than Charlo. A dripping cut opened above Bottai’s left eye in the second and he was dropped hard by a left hook in the third for the TKO defeat. Charlo is now the #1 contender for Cornelius Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title.



Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23KOs) TKO3 Manny Perez (21-11-1, 4 KOs): The two brawled for most of the first round. This wasn’t wise for Perez, who was naturally much smaller and with only 4 KOs to his credit. He quickly started breaking down under Ortiz’s massive array of power shots. The second round became more one-way traffic, and Ortiz scored an early knockdown in the third that lead to the corner stoppage.

Jermell Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) UD10 Mario Lozano (27-6, 20 KOs): Charlo took a wide decision win over Lozano via unanimous scores of 100-90. After catching a few hard left hook counters that bloodied his nose, Lozano stayed on the outside where Charlo could control the action with jabs and long rights. The only time Lozano found success is when Charlo tried to lead. On those occasions, Lozano would land an isolated counter left. BeatsBoxingMayhem also scored the bout for Charlo 100-90.

Errol Spence Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) TKO Javier Castro (27-8, 22 KOs): Castro took the fight on 3 weeks notice and was beat from pillar to post for most of the contest. Spence got a 10-8 round on my card in the first by landing 75% of his power shots. Through three rounds, Castro had only landed 12 punches to 150 from Spence. Castro was able to last until the 5th until the barrage of punches was too much to ignore, prompting referee Robert Byrd to stop it. Spence finished the bout landing 71% of his power shots, and landing 260 total shots to just 23 from Castro.