Abner Mares Talks Agbeko, Donaire, Darchinyan, More

By Chris Robinson

At the moment there is a lot of commotion going on at 118 pounds.

We are a few days away from one of the bigger fights of 2011, Showtime’s bantamweight tournament finale featuring IBF champion Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko against unbeaten Abner Mares, set to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a dandy of an encounter, one that the 25-year old Mares has had to wait patiently for after seeing Agbeko withdraw from their scheduled bout this past April, and it promises to bring more clarity to the bantamweight division.
But, as intriguing as the Agbeko-Mares duel is, just as compelling has been the buzz surrounding Nonito Donaire these days. The reigning WBC and WBO bantamweight champion, Donaire made noise by recently extending his contract with promoter Top Rank after having previously seen his career stalled after a legal dispute stemming from his attempt at jumping ship to Golden Boy Promotions.
In speaking with Mares recently I could sense how adamant he was about establishing himself as the man to beat at 118 pounds, with Donaire obviously crossing his thoughts if forced to ponder such a predicament, but for now the Guadalajara native is focused on his task against Agbeko. The stakes are high enough for Mares to realize just how dangerous the man in front of him is and come this weekend the Hard Rock will likely serve as the location of one of his defining fights as a professional.
During my conversation with Mares we touched on the sacrifices he has made to get to this point in his career, his victory over former champion Vic Darchinyan last year, whether he was upset to see his bout with Agbeko postponed in April, and his opinion on Donaire’s return to the sport…
In his own words this is what Mares had to say…
Boxing my whole life…
“I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I started boxing here in the States. I grew up in Hawaiian Gardens, California, which is the L.A. area, Southeast of L.A. I started training at the age of seven, my first amateur fight was at the age of eleven and I kept going from there. I made it to the Olympic team, representing Mexico in the 2004 Olympics. Now we are pro and we are 21-0. I’ve been boxing my whole life.”
Everything I imagined…
“My pro career has been everything I’ve imagined. I always dreamed of getting to a world championship fight, which I had before against Yohnny Perez. The fight was declared a draw and a lot of people thought that I won. I think I’m at the right time to, hopefully, God-willing, become a world champion.”
Sacrificing for a lifetime of happiness…
“The hardest thing is sacrifice. You have to sacrifice a lot. A lot of people think it’s simple getting up every day in the morning, the everyday routine, sometimes being away from their family, doing camps away. All of that is very hard for us and as a Dad, you know I have two kids and a wife, and that’s hard. But then again it’s a few months of hell for a lifetime of happiness.”
For the business…
“I can just honestly tell you that there are no friends in boxing. We’re all here for the business. We’re all here to make money, do something about this and I’m just enjoying it fight by fight.”
Defeating Vic Darchinyan last December…
“That was a big victory for me. Just the fact that he was a big-name fighter; he’s a great champion and fighting the way I fought against him let people know a lot about me because I was the one pressing him back, knowing that he was a strong fighter. So it helped me out a lot. A great fight, a great win, and overall I just thought it was great for my boxing career.”
Seeing his fight with Joseph Agbeko become postponed…
“At the moment it was frustrating. It brought me down a little bit mentally but after seeing it from the human side, I realized it could have happened to anyone. His health comes first, he recovered fast, thank God, and the good thing is we decided to wait for him and we’re back in this.”
Not looking ahead to Nonito Donaire…
“He’s a tremendous fighter. Overall he’s got tremendous skills. Really, really good fighter. The type of fighter that doesn’t need to train for a six-round fight. He’s a really skilled fighter. He’s in my weight class. I wouldn’t say I want to fight him, because I would be getting ahead of myself, I have Agbeko in front of me and I got to accomplish that first. But after that, if it comes it comes. It will be a great fight for the fans.”
Donaire getting past the Top Rank-Golden Boy legal drama…
“That shows you how careful and how important it is to have the right people in your corner. Him knowing that he had a contract with Top Rank and then going with the Golden Boy signing; only he knows what happened. But hopefully he gets back in the ring soon.”

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here , and he can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MaD RoBoT on 08-12-2011

Mares still too green for Donaire, should beat King Kong convincingly

Comment by Ringlife on 08-11-2011

Mares must beat this guy by a knockout to get people believing in him again he can't leave no doubt to the boxing fans no more on who won the fight every time he fights.

Comment by SlimTim on 08-11-2011

Darchinyan gave Mares a serious beatdown and got robbed on the cards. If the ref had let Vic fight his fight, there's no question he would've knocked Abner out. If Agbeko is healthy he should be able to defeat Abner…

Comment by Tomasio on 08-11-2011

[B][I]Right now I don't see anybody from 115lbs(jr bantam) to 126lbs(featherweight) beating Donaire...He's gonna wipe out the Bantamweight division & continue moving up & taking over.[/I][/B].

Comment by mathed on 08-11-2011

Mares gets ko'd in 4 rds against Donaire

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