By Chris Robinson
On Saturday night at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas, Abner Mares moved up in weight to capture the vacant WBC junior featherweight championship with a solid victory over former flyweight champion Eric Morel. Mares was in control of the contest through the outset as he has success both bullying and boxing the 36-year old Morel at his own pace.
Working the corner of Mares was respected trainer and cut man Miguel Diaz, one of the busiest people in the sport. And while the sly Argentinean admits that Morel was perhaps a stiffer test that expected, he seemed pleased with Mare’s effort.
“Very good performance,” Diaz would state shortly after the fight had wrapped up. “Morel, I give my respect towards him. He fought much better than anybody expected and the people were real happy to see an Abner Mares who was winning the fight all the way to the last round. He really gave a show to the people.”
Mares know finds himself in the thick of things at 122 pounds, a division full of intriguing characters such as WBA champion and two-time Cuban gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, Filipino-American star Nonito Donaire, former champion Toshiaki Nishioka, and several others.
Some interesting fights could be on the horizon for Mares and Diaz has no doubt of his abilities.
“He can fight with anybody,” Diaz added. “He can fight with Nonito, he can fight with Chemito, he can fight with Arce, he can fight with anybody. No question about it.”
It was another hectic weekend for Diaz, who also was in the corner of Cuba’s Erislandy Lara during his 1st round knockout over Ronald Hearns in Biloxi, Mississippi on Friday evening. Diaz will be returning to his bases in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow and on Monday will jump back into training with undefeated junior lightweight prospect Rances Barthelemy, who faces off with Aalan Martinez on May 11th as part of a ShoBox: The New Generation triple-header.