The Straight Jab: Exclusive Interview with WBC Super Bantamweight Champ Abner Mares
Abner Mares is a lot of things, including undefeated (24-0-1) and a multiple weight class champion (he vacated his IBF Bantamweight title and is the reigning WBC Super Bantamweight champion). But what he isn’t is well known outside of the world of boxing. Take an opportunity to meet Mares and learn more about the future of the sport in this week’s Straight Jab!
Marty Garabedian- Abner, I want to thank you for taking time away from training and answering some questions for the fans…
Abner Mares- Thank you for having me.
MG- Two years ago I interviewed your promoter, Frankie Espinoza Jr., prior to your fight with Yohnny Perez. We both agreed that you had the potential to be a future champion and a bona fide boxing star. Is it safe to say our predictions were accurate at this time?
AM- Thank you for the compliment. It’s always been my goal to become the next Mexican Icon. And I don’t think I’m there yet, but I feel I’m on the right path. Hopefully thru my hard work and God I will reach my goal.
MG- One thing the fans love about you is your willingness to fight anyone. You’re like a throw back fighter. What gives you the motivation to face top opposition?
AM- I want the fights that the fans want. I don’t believe fans should wait years to see two guys fight in their prime. I also enjoy challenging myself. Fighting different styles will only help me become a better fighter. I’ve said it before. I’m not afraid to lose. I will always give it my all for the fans.
MG- Speaking of taking tough fights, your next opponent in November will be Anselmo Moreno, who really made a name for himself with the boxing clinic he put on against Vic Darchinyan…Have you seen Anselmo fight, and are there any concerns with the style he’ll bring come fight night?
AM- I’ve seen some footage of Moreno. But I’m one of those fighter who don’t like to study films. I let my trainer do all that. We feel we have the right game plan for Moreno and know we can beat him. I don’t think it’s going to be easy but at this point of my career… why should any fight be easy?
MG- How has preparation been coming along in camp? Is there anyone specific you had to bring in to mimic Anselmo’s slick style?
AM- We are having a great camp. I’m working really hard with my trainer and my strength and conditioning coach. We do have a sparring partner who tries his best Moreno imitation. And he’s giving me great work. He’s 6’1 and has about 20 pounds over me. But all that will help with the reach and style of Moreno.
MG- This is Anselmo’s first fight in the Super Bantamweight division. You just defeated Eric Morel for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight title. Do you see size being an advantage for you in this fight?
AM- I don’t think so. I believe Moreno will feel just like I did once I fought at 122lbs. So, no I don’t think there is a huge advantage in that.
MG- Most feel the Super Bantamweight division is one of the deeper classes in Boxing, do you feel the smaller weight classes get enough recognition?
AM- Absolutely. The super bantamweight has always been an exciting weight class from Barrera, Morales, Pacquaio, Marquez, Vazquez and more. I’m glad to be in it. I think we are getting good recognition. Hopefully the fight fans appreciate us.
MG- On October 13th, there’s another huge fight in the division, Nonito Donaire taking on Toshiaki Nishioka. Both fighters have been vocal in the past about facing you. If victorious are you eyeing the winner of this fight?
AM- Thats the plan. I think its only right that the winner of my fight with Moreno fight Donaire. But first thing first,I have to get past Moreno.
MG- Do you feel it’s justifiable for some to label you as a “dirty” fighter?
AM- I don’t pay attention to all that anymore. I have thicker skin from all that. I think by me giving Agbeko a immediate rematch. And beating him more convincely, should erase all those doubts. But everyone is entitle to their opinion.
MG- Up to now in your young career, who can you say was the quickest and hardest puncher you’ve faced?
AM- The hardest puncher… I might say Vic Darchinyan.
MG- Looking into the future, how do you think you’d fare jumping up to Featherweight and facing the likes of Salido, John, Russell Jr., and Mikey Garcia?
AM- You know me, I don’t back down from any challenge. I will love to eventually fight at 126lbs. There are a lot of good fighters in that division. And hopefully in the near future, I will have my chance against one of them.
MG- You felt Pacquiao defeated Bradley and there’s been an ongoing issues with controversial decisions in the past. What do you think Boxing needs to do to fix these issues and clean up the sport?
AM- Judging is hard job. And I wouldn’t want to do it. But I do feel the commission should try to have more seminars( to help judges continue to strive to be better) and evaluate the judges after a certain period.
MG- Does Boxing have too many belts and/or to many weight classes in your opinion?
AM- I don’t think so. For an up comer winning a belt means more income. Just have more unifications.
MG- Espinoza Boxing probably has the best young talents around. How has your experience been with both Frank Sr. and Jr. and is there anyone coming up through the promotion for whom the fans should keep an eye out?
AM- They are great people. They have been with me since my comeback. And help me get where I am today. I’m very thankful to have them apart of my team. They have a kid I have seen spar a few times, Antonio Orozco and Oscar Valdez.
MG- What’s your opinion on 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather Jr. starting their own Promotions, The Money Team? Is this good or bad for the sport?
AM- I don’t think The Money Team Promotion is no longer active.
MG- And my last question before I let you go. Abner, when your career is all said and done, how would you like people to remember you in the sport of Boxing?
AM- I want fans to remember me putting on great fights and giving my all. I also want them to remember how I never ducked anyone.
MG- Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans or any shout outs?
AM- Thank you for the support. I’m training hard and will be ready to go on Nov 10th. Don’t miss it on Showtime!
MG- Thanks again for taking time to conduct this interview, and good luck in your fight with Anselmo Moreno….
AM- Thank you!