By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares (26-0, 14 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens and former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs) of Mexico City met Thursday afternoon at the American Express Stadium Room at StubHub Center in Carson, California at their final press conference. The two are set to fight Saturday night for Mares’ WBC featherweight title at the StubHub Center live on Showtime.
“We are excited and thrilled to once again we have put together a great card from top to bottom. These are fights that the fans enjoy. Boxing is living a tremendous moment,” Oscar de la Hoya said in opening Thursday’s proceedings. “We are extremely proud to be presenting a great card. This is what boxing is all about when you have a fighter like Abner Mares and on the other hand we have Jhonny Gonzalez!”
The former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez made his final comments as he was greeted with a massive ovation from his team. “As a boxer you always want to fight the best and that is the case when I fight Abner Mares,” Gonzalez said. “We have prepared ourselves one hundred percent to give a war and that’s what you all want. We won’t let you down. I am sure the biggest winners will be the fans and the sport of boxing because this fight is going to be a total war!”
Mares, who is making his first title defense, stated “I won’t disappoint. I promise you a great fight like I always do and I expect a tough fight against Jhonny Gonzalez, a tough opponent that I have ahead of me. I want to fight nothing but the best. I am ready. Saturday you’ll witness a tremendous fight from both of us. Let the best man win and who knows this might be fight of the year? Viva Mexico!”
* * * * *
WBC super bantamweight champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (37-2-1, 27 KOs) of Guadalajara and undefeated former bantamweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs) of Lincoln Heights, California were also on hand as they will square off in the co-feature for Terrazas’ green belt.
“I come in ready one hundred percent to give it all. Terrazas is a great champion and fighter. This is the most difficult fight of my career. He’s a Mexican warrior that gives it all,” Santa Cruz said. “He has struggled like I have on his way to become world champion he is not here to relinquish his crown. He is here to fight. I am here to win. The good thing is that whoever wins, the title will stay in the hands of a Mexican and may the best man win!”
Terrazas commented, “I know this will be a war between Leo Santa Cruz and I. This is my first defense and I will not lose my title. Like he said, the one who comes in well prepared will come out winning. I come well prepared for this fight and may the best man win inside the ring.”
* * * * *
The Showtime Extreme Card taking place before the Championship Boxing card will feature San Diego’s Antonio Orozco (17-0, 13 KOs) as he will take on Ivan Hernandez (29-3, 23 KOs) of Miami in a ten round junior welterweight bout. “My first time here. I want to thank God. We are looking at a tough fight I will put on my best. It’s an honor to be fighting on this card, see you all Saturday,” Orozco said
2012 U.S Olympians Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (5-0, 5 KOs) of Anaheim and South El Monte’s super bantamweight rising star Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (6-0, 4 KOs) will also be part of the Showtime Extreme card as they will see action in separate bouts.
In a scheduled eight round heavyweight bout Dominic Breazeale will take on Lenroy Thomas (16-2, 8 KOs). “It’s always an honor to fight on TV. I have a lot of supporters coming to watch me. We had a great camp. My trainer and I we prepared well for this fight. Best of luck to Lenroy Thomas, I will be bringing the trouble,” Breazeale said.
Joseph Diaz will take on Noel Mendoza (6-2-1, 1 KO) in a scheduled six round featherweight bout. “I had a great training camp this month. I fought last month so I was right back at it at the gym just knowing I will be fighting at the Stub HubCenter. It’s a blessing. I can’t wait to give everyone a great performance and great night of boxing,” Diaz said.
Follow me on twitter @MigMaravilla