By Jake Donovan
Win today, look good the next time.
It wasn’t what Anselmo Moreno intended for to be the case in his U.S. debut last December. Unfortunately, that’s how his night turned out in soundly outpointing former two-division champ Vic Darchinyan over 12 awkward rounds.
The win improved Moreno’s record to 32-1-1 (11KO), racking up his 26th straight win and 9th consecutive defense of his bantamweight belt. It also marked his debut on American cable giant Showtime, where he returns on April 21 as he faces David de la Mora (24-1, 17KO) in El Paso, Texas.
Moreno follows the same pattern as his last fight, once again serving in the co-feature slot to a show headlined by Abner Mares. The two were paired up in separate bouts last December, with Mares scoring a second win in as many tries against Joseph King Kong Agbeko.
Unlike Moreno, Mares chose to bolt the bantamweight division after that evening. He will challenge for a vacant super bantamweight belt this time around, though at a catchweight against former flyweight titlist Eric Morel.
Moreno’s fight figures to make it an even 10 defenses at bantamweight, though this time around promises a more crowd-pleasing offering.
“You have to remember that the fight against Darchinyan was my first fight in the United States, so I was a little more reserved,” Moreno admits. “Now I’m very excited to be fighting in the United States again and you’ll see a little bit of difference. I’m going to be the same boxer style-wise, but you’ll see a little bit more. I’m very anxious to get in the ring, please the crowd and defend my title again.”
Assuming the odds play out and Moreno wins, a showdown with Mares is one possibility for the near future. Having reigned as a major titlist for nearly five years, the Panamanian southpaw is already planning a move up in weight for his next fight.
It’s not specifically to chase after any particular fighter, though bouts with Mares and pound-for-pound entrant Nonito Donaire certainly pay more. Rather, Moreno just believes his work is done at bantamweight and that it will be time to move on after April 21 comes and goes.
“I’m ready to fight the best and I’ve shown that in the past. I’m staying at 118 maybe for one more fight and them I’m ready to jump to 122 to fight the biggest names out there.”
Hopefully the tour begins next week with a win in which he also looks good doing so.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]