Feature Story

Mares Ready for Morel

By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda

Unbeaten former bantamweight world champion Abner Mares (23-0-1, 13KOs) had his media workout Thursday for his April 21 bout against former flyweight champion Eric Morel (46-2, 23KOs). Mares continued his preparation at the Elite MMA Academy in Santa Fe Springs, California. “We have one week left, I feel great. Sparring 120 rounds went well and I feel good and ready.”

Mares looked sharp in working combinations with his trainer Clemente Medina. “We work hard during training to make it easy come fight night.” He will begin 2012 moving up in weight from 118 to 122 against Morel.

Last August Mares won the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament with a controversial majority decision over Joseph Agbeko. Four months later Mares gave Agbeko a rematch and successfully scored another decision win, this time with no controversy. Prior to his two bouts with Agbeko, Mares was in a war with Vic Darchinyan in which he won a split decision beating the Armenian fighter in December of 2010 and he fought to a draw against the semi-retired Yohnny Perez back in May of 2010.

“I fight whoever they put in front of me. That’s what you do to be great. In this case it is Eric Morel. Morel is not a pushover. He is well experienced fighter, former world champion, ten years older than I am and has over 40 fights.”

“I know it is going to be a tough fight but we have prepared ourselves mentally and physically. The move up in weight should not be a problem I started my career at 122.”

Abner Mares vs. Eric Morel will be for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight Title live on Showtime from the Don Hoskins Center in El Paso, Texas. Mares’ promoter Oscar de la Hoya will be returning to El Paso, Texas, where he scored a third round stoppage of Patrick Charpentier in 1998 at a sold out Sun Bowl.

“It feels good fighting in El Paso I never fought there. I know Oscar is going to be there it means a lot to him and it’s motivating now that I will headline my own card in El Paso.”

This will be another one in the books for the storied Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing rivalry and will come one month after the rematch between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez as Mares looks to capture his second world title and look ahead to other potential fights later this year.

“I would like to fight against Rafael Marquez, Jorge Arce, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., Victor Terrazas, and Nonito Donaire,” he stated. However first he will have to focus on his next opponent Morel. “It is not going to be an easy fight and it will be a tough test. Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are great fighters and we always bring out great fights. I look forward to April 21.”

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