Photos by Jorge Garcia/Golden Boy Promotions
Three-time World Champion Israel Vazquez and top-rated contender Abner Mares served up a heapful of smiles and more during a free public autograph session at the famous Tacos Tombras A Tacos inside the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles on Monday. In an eagerly awaited matchup, Vazquez will meet arch-rival and two-division World Champion Rafael Marquez in the main event on “Once And Four All” this Saturday at STAPLES Center on SHOWTIME®. In a battle of unbeatens, Mares will challenge defending champion Yonnhy Perez for the IBF Bantamweight World Title in the semi-main.
Monday, Vazquez and Mares delighted fans by signing autographs, posing for pictures, taking orders and serving food.
Said Vazquez: “I love doing this kind of thing, being out in the public and meeting fans. I never get tired of it. Having people recognize me is a dream come true. They are very important to my life and my career. Making other people happy, seeing a smile on their faces and the look in their eyes makes me even happier.
“As for the fight, I am 100 percent physically and mentally prepared.”
Offered Mares: “It’s always exciting for me to be around people in the public in a great atmosphere like this. I feed off their energy and it gives me a lot of motivation. The fans mean everything to me and I will always be willing to give back to them.
“Fighting for a World Title is what it’s all about. Saturday is going to be a great night and a real treat for the fans. Our fight is truly a backyard brawl. I live in Norwalk, Yonnhy lives in Santa Fe Springs, and they are just a few miles apart. It doesn’t get better than this.”
Tickets, priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25, are available at the STAPLES Center Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000.
The doubleheader, which is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions, Espinoza Boxing Promotions and Zanfer Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, will air live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Doors open Saturday at 2:55 p.m. PT. The first live non-televised undercard bout begins at 3 p.m. PT.