By: William Holmes
What’s the difference between the junior featherweight division and the super bantamweight division?
I can’t think of any, as they both have the same weight limits, but just to clarify any confusion the casual boxing fan has, they are technically the same.
On Saturday, Showtime will be featuring two big bouts in the 122lb division, a championship bout between Abner Mares and Eric Morel as well as a championship bout between Anselmo Moreno and David De La Mora.
It is likely that the two winners of Saturday’s bouts will face off against each other in the near future. A preview of bouts follows below.
Anselmo Moreno (32-1-1) vs. David De La Mora (24-1); WBA Super Bantamweight Title
The first championship bout that Showtime will be televising will be between Panamanian boxer Anselmo Moreno and Mexican boxer David De La Mora. Both fighters have previously fought and been successful in the Bantamweight division, and are now fighting in the Super Bantamweight Division.
David De La Mora comes into the fight on Saturday night with an impressive record and has 17 KO or TKOs to his credit. He previously fought for the Bantamweight title in August of 2011 against Japanese boxer Koki Kameda. He fought a close bout with Kameda and lost to him by a close decision with scores of 113-114, 113-115, and 112-115.
It should be noted that his championship bout with Kameda was fought in Japan, showing that De La Mora is willing to travel to unfriendly territory to take on tough competition. De La Mora is also only 23 years old, still relatively young, and has yet to reach his prime. Besides Kameda, his toughest bout to date was against Jovanny Soto in April of 2010, a bout he won by TKO in the seventh round.
Anselmo Moreno is one of the top boxers in the Super Bantamweight division. Of his 32 victories, 11 have come by way of KO or TKO, so it appears that De La Mora will have the power advantage on Moreno. However, Moreno makes up for his power deficiency with technical precision.
Moreno has also fought the tougher competition. He bested the tough Vic Darchinyan in December of 2011 by a wide decision to successfully defend his WBA Super Bantamweight title. He won the WBA Bantamweight title in May of 2008 over the then undefeated Volodymyr Sydorenko by decision, and beat him again in their rematch of May of 2009. The last time Moreno fought an opponent with a losing record was in 2003. Moreno is battle tested.
Moreno will have close to a five inch reach advantage on De La Mora on Saturday, and has fought in the Super Bantamweight division longer than him. Moreno is also used to fighting tough competition, and that experience will be a major factor on Saturday. I expect Moreno to win on Saturday by a comfortable decision, but De La Mora has the power to make it interesting.
Abner Mares (21-0-1) vs. Eric Morel (46-2); WBC Junior Featherweight Title
Both Mares and Morel have Olympic experience, with Mares representing Mexico in the 2004 Olympic Games and Morel representing the United States in the 1996 Olympic games.
The fact that they competed in the Olympics eight years apart should give you a strong indication that age will be a big factor on Saturday. Morel is 37 years old, and has found most of his success in the past in the flyweight and super flyweight divisions. Mares is 26 and is entering his prime.
Morel represented the United States in the 1996 Olympic games and was the National Golden Gloves Light Flyweight Champion in 1994. He was a champion in the flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight division. Of his 46 victories, 23 have come by way of KO or TKO. His two losses on his record were earlier in his career, a 2005 loss to Martin Castillo and a 2003 loss to Lorenzo Parra. Morel has been on a tear recently, as he is currently riding a 11-fight win streak. His biggest victory during that time period was over a past-his-prime Gerry Penalosa in 2010. Morel has not defeated anyone else of note during his current win streak.
Abner Mares comes from a deep amateur background. He represented Mexico in the 2004 Olympics, was a silver medalist in the 2004 World Junior Championships, a silver medalist in the 2003 Pan American Games, and a gold medalist in the 2002 Central American & Carribean Games and the 2002 World Cadet Championships. Mares took part in Showtime’s Bantamweight tournament and holds victories over Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko twice. His lone blemish on his record is a 2010 draw to the then undefeated Yonnhy Perez. Thirteen of Mares’ victories have come by way of KO or TKO.
Even though Morel has fought most of his career in lighter weight classes, he will have the height and reach advantage on Saturday night. Despite that, age will be a big factor in this bout, and Morel has not fought anyone of Mares’ caliber in a very long time. Mares should cruise to a victory on Saturday, and hand Morel his first loss since 2005.