By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
WBC featherweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 KOs) of Cuatemoc Chihuahua, Mexico and unbeaten former super bantamweight champion Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) nearby Hawaiian Gardens both worked out separately Thursday afternoon at the Azteca Boxing Gym in Bell, California for their May 4 featherweight showdown. Working out first was Abner Mares, just three weeks away from his fight with Ponce de Leon as he went through his regimen with his trainer Clemente Medina.
“I feel good,” Mares told Fightnews.com. “We’re three weeks away from the fight. I am in great spirits and really excited.” Mares has been preparing himself with Medina at the Elite MMA Academy in Santa Fe Springs, California. He will be moving up to featherweight after fighting at bantamweight and super bantamweight.
“The move up in weight is giving me no problems. It’s going to be a good fight. It’s a fight I had to take. I can’t wait to make my debut at 125 and prove to people that I am capable of moving up. Skills what gets you through a fight, not weight,” Mares said.
The world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon followed, accompanied by his team. “I feel good. I have 3 weeks to go and I will give it a thousand percent,” Ponce de Leon told Fightnews. Ponce de Leon has been training and preparing for this fight at his new gym, The Ponce de Leon Boxing Gym in Montebello, California.
“Expect a great fight from me as always. That’s what I am preparing for May 4 Cinco de Mayo weekend, to give the fans a great fight,” Ponce de Leon commented.
Mares vs. Ponce De Leon will be for Ponce de Leon’s WBC featherweight title May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will be the co-main event on May Day Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero live on Showtime PPV.
Also on hand Thursday at the Azteca Gym was the Golden Boy Oscar de la Hoya. “The 4th of May, stated Oscar. “It’s the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Mexicans and Mexican/Americans and everyone will be celebrating. We need to give them really exciting fights.”
Also working out Thursday afternoon was undefeated super bantamweight and former world champion Leo Santa Cruz, who will take on Alexander “Explosivo” Munoz on the May Day undercard in a scheduled ten round super bantamweight bout.
“This is the biggest fight I have been in. Who wouldn’t want to be on a card like this! For my fans and everyone watching, I will show them the best of me,” Santa Cruz told us.
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