by Chris Cella
This Saturday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as part of Showtime Championship Boxing, undefeated WBC super bantamweight champion Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KO) will put his belt on the line against number one contender Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KO).
A former IBF bantamweight champion, Mares first captured the crown with a hard fought win over Vic Darchinyan in 2010, and last year defended his bantamweight title twice before moving up to capture the super bantamweight championship earlier this year.
About the risky fight ahead of him Saturday night, Mares commented, “You can expect a more mature, focused and ready Abner than you have ever 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.”
With both fighters’ speed and ability to counter, fans can expect more of a chess match than a shootout through the 12-round battle. Mares prides himself on always being ready for the fighter that stands before him in the squared circle, and understands his game plan as he faces a boxer with such solid defense as Moreno.
“I think this could be a more mentally exhausting fight than a physically one for me,” Mares continued. “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.”
Staying busy through the course of the fight has never been a problem for Mares, who has won his last two outings by a convincing unanimous decision, nearly winning every round of both fights.
Despite the fighters’ combined record of 57-1-2, with countless titles held between the two of them, neither has faced an opponent as they will see across the ring Saturday night.
Both warriors have established themselves as the two best super bantamweights in the world, and will battle for true supremacy when the bell sounds to commence the opening round.
Although Moreno is coming into this fight with one loss, he hasn’t experienced defeat in over 10 years when he lost a four round split decision in only his eighth professional fight.
“My biggest or toughest opponent is always my work in the gym,” Moreno says about fighting the division’s champion.
“Whatever Abner said, that’s his opinion, but my training and preparation is always very tough, very intense. So for me, as long as my training and preparation goes well, then I go into every fight as it’s just another opponent. So I know what I go through in my training camps and they’re very, very tough, intense, and those are my toughest opponents my training camps.”
True as that may be, Moreno’s training camp opponents don’t counter punch with the speed and accuracy of Mares, so time will tell if he changes his tune about his ‘toughest opponent.’
This fight is going to come down to who can get in and land his shots, and get out in time to avoid being hit. Whichever pugilist can execute his technique better Saturday night will raise the belt.
The super bantamweight championship of the world will be aired live on Showtime at 10 p.m. Eastern.