By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Big Joe Miranda
WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares (26-0, 14 KOs) is just weeks away for his upcoming fight against former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs) of Mexico City taking place on August 24 live on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California. Fightnews.com met with the champion at the Elite MMA Academy in Santa Fe Springs, California where he trains to speak with him about his training camp and his upcoming fight with Gonzalez.
“We have been training real hard for this fight. We are about two weeks away already and I am good,” Mares told Fightnews.com. His daily routine begins in the morning doing strength and conditioning with his coach Luis Garcia then in the afternoon he resumes training in the gym with his trainer Clemente Medina, along with his team and sparring partners which bring a similar style to Gonzalez.
“Everything is the same as in every other fight but we’ve gained more muscle for this fight. The last fight was our first fight at featherweight. We feel even more comfortable at 126 now,” Mares said. “Clemente and Luis work real well to the point that they are not butting heads. They know each other’s job, they communicate really well,” Mares added.
“My sparring partners are really similar to Jhonny’s style. Same jab, left hand and uppercut, “Nacho” style,” Mares said.
Of course, Gonzalez is trained by Mexican legendary trainer Nacho Beristan, who also had a short working history with Abner Mares shortly after Mares turned pro. Mares however don’t see that as an advantage as he spoke about the task he has with Gonzalez.
“He knows a little bit about me, I know his style as well, his school and technique. I trained with him for three years. I learned a lot from him. I know what style he brings in. Jhonny is a really technical fighter,” Mares said about Nacho Beristan.
The pride of Hawaiian Gardens will be up against a proven veteran in Gonzalez with 62 bouts under his belt and is a former two-time world champion that has faced Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, Fernando Montiel, Israel Vasquez, Gerry Penalosa, Toshiaki Nishioka, and Daniel Ponce de Leon.
It was a few weeks ago that the kickoff press conference was held announcing Mares vs. Gonzalez and also a super bantamweight world title fight between WBC champion Victor Terrazas and local favorite Leo Santa Cruz. Interestingly in concluding the press conference Mares hinted at the possibility that he would perhaps face Leo Santa Cruz in the near future.
“I can speak about many fights that I can see in the future but my priority and mindset is on Jhonny Gonzalez. No doubt Leo Santa Cruz is a potential future opponent. He has a tough fight against Terrazas and we’ll see how he does against him. It’ll be an interesting fight for the fans,” Mares said.
Mares, however, is doing his homework focusing on Jhonny Gonzalez as he’ll make the first defense of the WBC featherweight title he won over Daniel Ponce de Leon this past May.
“It’s a tough fight we know he has heavy hands and a very well educated left hand,” Mares said about his opponent. “I will give my fans a great show and hopefully a spectacular knockout!”
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla