By Mike Coppinger
Abner Mares is on the precipice of stardom in boxing. The Mexican native has won titles at 118 and 122 pounds and has his eyes set on a third when he takes on WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon in the Showtime PPV co-feature on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mares shared his thoughts on the fight and his status in the sport with BoxingScene:
BoxingScene: You've had a lot of tough fights without a break, how do you think that's helped grow your profile in the sport?
Mares: I think people are starting to pay attention and realizing I'm fighting good, top opponents. I hope I get the recognition from not just the boxing fans but the people who know the sport. I'm here to please the fans and get the tough fights, just because I want to give the fans the best fights.
BoxingScene: How will Saturday's exposure help you?
Mares: It's a big fight. It was a main event at first, but then it got put on this great undercard. You can't beat it. Mayweather brings in a lot of great fans.
Mares: Obviously, yeah. A knockout definitely gets you big attention. It definitely gives a good impression to all the fans. But whether its a knockout or decision, as long as I give a good fight and the fans leave happy, I can say I accomplished something. But either way, I'll give a good show and box the heck out of Ponce and give a good fight.
BoxingScene: How has the tough string of fights taken a toll on you?
Mares: It's all mental. Mentally, I think it's helping me, making me a better fighter and growing as a fighter with all these tough fights. It's buidlign me to a better and tougher fighter. I know my body is taking a toll, but I take my vacations, I take my rest. I'm a healthy guy, I'm a family guy and I think that's one of the reason my body hasn't hurt yet; as long as I keep it that way i think my body can do it for a number of years.
BoxingScene: Do you see yourself settling at 126?
Mares: Definitely. I'm new to my weight class, but we'll see come Saturday how I look. I felt great in sparring and I'm an honest guy. I've been feeling good against lightweight and super lightweights, but it comes down to the fight. However I feel in the fight it's going to matter. If I feel comfortable I'll stay at 126. But who knows, maybe I'll go to 130.
Follow Mike Coppinger on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger