I did enjoy it with my family, obviously, because my family is always
there for me. They’re happy for me. I was happy as well but at the end
of the day, no matter how hard I tried to enjoy it, there was always
negativity,” said Mares this past Monday, his final day in Southern
California at the MMA Elite Academy in Santa Fe Springs. “They were
always posting stuff on my Facebook page, on my Twitter (@abnermares00),
giving me pretty bad names. It’s hard not to think about that. It’s
hard to just brush that stuff off and keep walking but I was able to
adjust and, mentally, I didn’t let it get to me. I said to myself, ‘Y’
know what? If they’re talking about me this way, I’m going to prove them
wrong and give Agbeko the rematch.’”
yes, the anonymity of the internet, where everyone can be a tough guy
behind their laptops. Mares, who’s as friendly as they come in this
brutal business, took it in stride. When asked about the worst thing he
read, he chuckled after contemplating that question for a few seconds.
“I’m gonna say they were comparing me to Andrew Golota, the ‘Lil’ Andrew
Golota.’ They were calling me and it got to me but at the end of the
day, thank God we were able to get that rematch and we were able to
adjust and prove them wrong.”
boxers have decided to close their Twitter or Facebook accounts or make
them private (and quite frankly, others should too- you know who I’m
talking about) but Mares says he never considered doing this.
I definitely did not because doing that is saying, ‘You guys won; you
guys trash-talked me so badly I gotta shut down my pages. I’m in my room
crying,’ No, no, no, none of that. I’m a strong mental guy; I overcame
that. I didn’t let it get to me. I continued with my pages, with my life
and I was able to turn all that negativity around.” But a lesson was
learned; as a public figure, fame and notoriety can be a double-edged
sword. “I mean, back then, I was getting so used to people loving me,
people always cheering for me, never having anything bad to say about
me,” he admitted, “but now I know it comes with my job, with my
profession. So I definitely have to get used to that. I know there’s
always going to be fights people aren’t going to be happy about. You
just gotta continue and adjust and keep on learning and give them
whatever they want.”
he clearly bested Agbeko in their rematch this past December without
the assistance of referee Russell Mora, he was back in the good graces
of the masses.
was everything; it was everything because I wasn’t really able to enjoy
my championship after that first fight,” said Mares, who is just 26
years old. “It was just so much weight that was released, so much weight
that was taken off my shoulders and I was just so, so happy with my
family. We were able to enjoy it and now we’re able to basically
continue our career because we were stuck with Agbeko all of last year.”
for Mares, 2011 was “The Year of ‘King Kong’,” as he was originally
scheduled to face the Ghanaian as part of Showtime’s April bantamweight
tourney. It turned into a yearlong ordeal.
recalled, “It was three camps we trained for Joseph Agbeko. The first
time he got injured, it was the week of the fight when we got notice it
was being canceled. Then obviously, the second fight, it was
controversial and then the rematch, which we were able to win clearly.
And no doubt, after that fight, it was just like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m done
with this guy. I don’t need to hear about Joseph anymore. I’m through
with this guy.’”
“I’m so happy he’s out of our lives now,” said Mares’ manager, Frank
Espinoza, laughing at the thought. “When we fought the first fight,
there was a controversy and then came the rematch and we wanted to clear
up all doubts. We went back in there and fought a better fight and beat
him clearly, so there was no doubt. Abner really proved the warrior
spirit that he does have and the talent he possesses.”
he’s taking his talents to the junior featherweight division and admits
he has bigger fights in mind after this weekend. One in particular.
say, ‘Well, you can’t be talking about other fights while you got this
one.’ Obviously, I’m talking about Eric Morel; he’s my next fight but
there’s no way, there’s no way you can’t think about other fights
because they’re still mentioned. It’s human nature,” admitted Mares.
“People are mentioning them so much, every time you bump into a fan,
‘Hey, when are you going to fight this guy?’ and the same name keeps
popping up and at the end of the day, no doubt, we are looking at a
fight with Nonito Donaire. That’s the fight we want. We’re fighting for
that vacant 122-pound super bantamweight title. It’s going to put us in a
great position. That’s my motivation right now. We’re staying hungry
and, God willing, we’ll win this fight.”
Donaire is promoted by Top Rank and there is that not-so-little-issue
of the “Cold War” between them and Golden Boy Promotions, which
already approached Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer and Oscar [De La Hoya].
We mentioned this fight right after Agbeko and they said they could
make it happen, ‘We’re more than willing to talk to Bob Arum, work
something out, all in favor of boxing,’ and I’m not just making this up.
This is what they said and hopefully, after this fight, everything
comes out good. We’re going to talk to them and bring this fight up
again. We’re going to mention it and hopefully, we can make it happen.”
did confirm to Maxboxing, “We have approached them; we are interested
in that fight. That’s a fight that Abner wants. I think this is the
fight that the fans want to see. I think it’s a great fight for boxing
as well. But there is the reality of it and there’s two promoters. It’s
not impossible; I’m sure that it can be worked out. I think it’s
something that the fans have to clamor for.”
not “impossible,” it is still unlikely for the time being, given the
two promotional titans don’t seem any closer on working together than
they have in the recent past. It’s a shame; a Mares-Donaire fight is an
attractive fight that can be built into something significant.
So, for now, Mares concentrates on Morel, a veteran of the game whose best form was a few years ago.
“I hope it’s the best Eric Morel. Why? Because I know people are
mentioning his age. He hasn’t fought a great fight in a great while and
that’s what makes him dangerous because he hasn’t had a war in a long
time,” explained Mares. “So he’s fresh; he hasn’t been in battles in a
long time. He’s hungry to become mentioned as a great fighter again and
he’s coming with everything. And that’s my motivation and I know he
worked really hard and I expect the best.
“I trained for the best Eric Morel and hopefully, he brings it and we’re ready for it.”
So what’s next for Donaire?
The original plan was for him to be a part of Top Rank’s July 14th pay-per-view card at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas but, instead, he could return to the ring a week later as a headliner.
“Yes,” confirmed Bob Arum on Wednesday afternoon, “but that’s not
finalized. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.” As for what network
Donaire would appear on, Arum stated, “Whoever is going to do the
pay-per-view on July 14th. We’ll link that up with the Donaire fight.”
Not sure what the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City was configured for on April 28th for the rematch between WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins
and Chad Dawson but Golden Boy released this announcement on Wednesday:
City (April 18)...Due to astronomical demand for tickets for "Once and
For All: Hopkins vs. Dawson" at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New
Jersey, nearly 1,300 additional tickets have opened for sale so more
fans can experience the intense rivalry between Bernard Hopkins and Chad
Dawson in person and see Seth Mitchell and Chazz Witherspoon square off
in a heavyweight battle.
priced at $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25, are available for purchase at
the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420
or online at ticketmaster.com.
the day that Hopkins and Dawson fight, earlier that day starting at 2
pm eastern time, tickets will go on sale for the June 16th match-up
between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee, who face each other on June
16th at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Tickets are priced at: $200,
$100, $60, $40 and $25 and can be purchased at the UTEP ticket center
and all Ticketmaster outlets.
for the rematch between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz have also gone on
sale (the following is also courtesy of a GBP press release):
Tickets, priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com and www.ticketmaster.com or
via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will
also be available at STAPLES Center box office beginning Tuesday, April
As for this weeks card in El Paso: Tickets,
priced at $25, $50, $75 and $150, are available for purchase at the
UTEP Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at (800)
745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, please call: (915) 747-5234.
Here’s a look at Abner Mares outside the ring and his upbringing, produced by Showtime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfprBcNjTH4&feature=youtu.be...Richard
Schaefer tells me that if a visa can be secured for Vusi Malinga, he
will face Leo Santa Cruz on Showtime’s quadruple-header from the Home
Depot Center in Carson on June 2nd...Once again, Showtime
Extreme will broadcast the undercard on Saturday night (7 p.m., ET/PT),
showcasing the likes of Librado Andrade, Francisco Vargas and Chris
Pearson...As I tweeted a few days ago, the heavy-handed Omar Figueroa is
the newest Al Haymon client...Will Bernie Fine’s accuser make up his
mind and get his story straight?...Is it just me or are the Memphis
Grizzlies the team nobody wants to face in the West?...Not saying they
have a favorable schedule but the only thing missing for the New England
Pats is a homecoming game...Even Satchel Paige has to be impressed by
Jamie Moyer...Geez, will Sean Peyton even be allowed to wear his Saints
paraphernalia this upcoming NFL season?...