By Miguel Maravilla
Three-division world champion Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, California by way of Guadalajara, Mexico will be looking to add another world title to his resume as he will challenge WBA super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis (20-0, 19 K’s) of Baltimore in his next fight. Mares will square off against Davis on Saturday, February 9 at the Dignity Health Sports Park (Stub Hub Center) in Carson, California live on Showtime.
“I’m taking this fight because of the challenge that it brings. I’m all about that. February 9th, I will prove everyone wrong,” Mares told Fightnews.com®. “In this fight, they’re counting me out because of his power and speed. Does it bother me? Yeah, it’s sort of disrespectful. This is just another fight for me.”
Mares’ training camp is underway with multi-time trainer of the year, Robert Garcia in Riverside, California as they will prepare to have their fourth fight together.
“We just have to train my butt off as long as I am physically and mentally prepared,” Mares stated. “We’ll already have 50 percent of the fight won just by having a good corner, a good team, and a great plan. The hard work ethic we are putting in. It’s going to show on February 9th.”
“Abner is very motivated. We have very strong sparring partners and he’s doing a great job in the gym already. Come February 9, everyone is in for a surprise,” Mares’ trainer Robert Garcia commented. “We know that this is a tough challenge. I think of this like the Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana fight. Just like Davis, they said Broner is flashy, dangerous and this and that. But you all know what happened. The same thing is going to happen this time around.”
Dropping a decision in his last fight, Mares held his own in going the distance in a rematch with the champ Leo Santa Cruz.
“I’m coming off of a great close fight against Leo Santa Cruz,” Mares said.
Prior to the rematch with Santa Cruz, Mares came into that fight defeating two tough opponents in mandatory challenger Andre Gutierrez, who was being avoided by many in the featherweight division and Abner defied the experts in pulling off a decision over the hard-hitting Jesus Cuellar.
“I’m a winner every time I fight. I come to prove people wrong and perform. Not too many people do that these days,” Mares said.
Abner knows the challenge that lies ahead of him in Gervonta Davis. Davis has stopped 19 of his 20 opponents and is coming off a devastating stoppage over former world champion Argentine slugger Jesus Cuellar.
Mares will be fighting at the super featherweight division for the first time in his career. Many feel that Mares has bitten off more than he can chew in taking the challenge against “Tank.”
“I’m looking forward to fighting at 130. It’s easier for me to move up in weight. I walk around at a decent weight. At the end of the day, you all have to stop worrying about my weight. Just sit back and look pretty,” Mares explained. “Gervonta, he’s an exciting fighter and he’s a boxer. He’s a boxer that trades punches so it makes for an exciting fight. I’m fighting the man at this weight class. He is explosive and has power. That’s all he will do and has done. Has he ever faced someone like me?
“I respect Gervonta Davis and his team, but I think Abner is hungrier and looking to make history,” Garcia added.
When Mares was scheduled to face Cuellar, not many of us including myself did not give him a shot. Mares comes into this fight as the underdog and has vowed to shock us once again. Will Abner’s experience and determination be too much for the young champion Davis?
“Gervonta Davis has a different style than Cuellar and it’s going to be a good fight. You can’t compare Jesus Cuellar to Gervonta Davis. I know some people wanted to compare how I did against Cuellar and how Davis did against Cuellar, but he fought him two years after I did. It makes no sense,” said Abner.
With a win here, Mares will become a four-division world champion. Winning his first world title at bantamweight over Joseph Agbeko in 2011, Mares moved up to super bantamweight in 2012 to win the vacant WBC title over Eric Morel, and won the featherweight title the following year in 2013 with a stoppage over Daniel Ponce De Leon. Mares has added other world titles along the way but looks to make the most of this opportunity.
“It will put me on the list next to Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Jorge Arce. When you name them, it gives you goosebumps and I want to be up there with the best,” Mares stated on the possibility of joining the exclusive club of Mexican fighters winning world titles in four weight divisions.
Nevertheless, the 33-year-old Mares will look to make his place in history. Standing in his way will be the young undefeated champ Davis.
“I will take him to deep waters,” Mares promised.
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