Boxing Insider Interview With Jesus Cuellar
By: Francisco Martinez
Plot thickens heading into Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares as not too long ago 2012 trainer of the year Robert Garcia was in Cuellar’s corner. Now, things have changed and along the way Robert Garcia has been extremely outspoken about the way things ended with Jesus Cuellar. BoxingInsider had the opportunity to ask Robert Garcia if things where personal and Robert stated “No, nothing personal. I have nothing against Team Cuellar. Donald is apart of it, Henry, I’ve known him since we where kids. It’s just business, you know, it just happened. It’s not like I went out looking for revenge or looking for Cuellar. Mares and his people are the ones that approached me. At that time I was free you know, not working with Cuellar anymore so I took advantage of it. First we where suppose to fight (Fernando) Montiel. It’s not like I went out looking for the fight against Cuellar. This just happened to be a good fight that Abner wanted. If I’m not mistaken Al Haymon asked him and he preferred that fight so he took it”
BoxingInsider managed to get in a few questions with Jesus Cuellar and get his side of the story and how he feels about facing his former trainer Robert Garcia in his upcoming bout versus Abner Mares for his WBA world featherweight title.
BoxingInsider: I’ve gotten the chance to ask Robert if he’s taking the fight with you personal being the way that you guys left things. How do you feel about this fight? Robert says it’s not personal but how are you taking this fight?
Jesus Cuellar: The same, it’s business. Me and Mares are both professionals and we’re going to demonstrate our best in the fight.
As Abner Mares took his turn on the podium to speak his mind he opened up by saying “I’m a level fighter and I’m going to show him there’s a deferences…” Mares went on to say “I’m working with Robert Garcia now and we’re taking this fight really serious. It’s a fight that we’re going to gain so much (from) and Robert to as he once worked with Jesus Cuellar. We’re just going to show, with me, as in example, it was a big mistake leaving him”
Jesus Cuellar took exception to those remarks and said “If I’m a lower level fighter than why are they throwing me in there with him? Why did he take the fight? (Laughs) He wants to be champion (I’m the champion)”
BoxingInsider: Is there any pressure there to have success being that Sergio Martinez is long retired. (Marcos) Maidana looks like he’s not coming back anytime soon. Is there any pressure to carry the torch for the Argentinian boxing scene?
Jesus Cuellar: No, no, for me there’s no pressure. I train in the gym with my team and the flag is always risen. In the ring or in the gym.
BoxingInsider: Just as he’s facing Abner Mares, (Leo) Santa Cruz is facing (Carl) Frampton. It’s kind of a tournament to see who’s the best 126lbs. How does he feel about that fight, Santa Cruz vs Frampton?
Jesus Cuellar: It’s a great fight and Leo (Santa Cruz) is a great fighter. He’s going to be victorious but I will show to each and everyone of them who’s the best fighter in the division.
BoxingInsider: Not looking past Mares but in the future if, Santa Cruz beats Frampton would you like a showdown with Santa Cruz to prove who’s the real WBA champion?
Jesus Cuellar: Yes but first we have our fights and if I get past Mares than yes, I would love a fight against Santa Cruz.
Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares is apart of the Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter card a “hybrid” broadcast dubbed Showtime championship boxing on CBS. Basically brings Showtime programmed boxing to “free” television around the world. Feeding off the “free boxing 4 all” vision Premier Boxing Champions has brought to millions of fans all over the world since its inception.
With a win Jesus Cuellar looks to set up a mega showdown with Current WBA Super World featherweight champion in Leo Santa Cruz who he, himself has the heavy task of vanquishing Carl Frampton who’s making the move up in weight from 122lbs (Super Bantamweight) to 126lbs (Featherweight) in the process giving up his WBA & IBF 122lbs titles for the lucrative opportunity to face Santa Cruz.
As for Abner Mares, he’s aiming to become a 4 time world champion and avoiding what many critics feels could be his last opportunity to prove he’s still a “A level” fighter, his words, not ours. Abner Mares also used the same punchline when he fought Leo Santa Cruz at the Staples Center in front of 13k fans, stating, “Leo Santa Cruz is a fighter who has fought nothing but C-level fighters. Now he’s fighting an A-level fighter…” In his fight against Santa Cruz Mares didn’t stick to the game plan but feels with Robert Garcia in his corner things will play out much more different. If Abner Mares wants the opportunity to make things right with Santa Cruz he has to get past Cuellar, the “mini Marcos Maidana” according to Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza.
So tune in this June 25th for an action packed card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. make sure to use hashtags #PBCONCBS #CUELLARMARES on social media to follow all coverage on fight.