By Rick Reeno
Manager Frank Espinoza expects a "Fight of The Year" candidate on May 4th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, when Daniel Ponce De Leon (44-4, 35KOs) defends his WBC featherweight championship against Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13KOs). Ponce will make the first defense of the title he captured last September from Jhonny Gonzalez, while Mares will move up in pursuit of his third divisional crown.
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, Ponce vs. Mares was officially added to the Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Espinoza is staying neutral in this one, as he manages both Mares and Ponce De Leon.
"I guarantee this fight will steal the show. Both of my guys are ready for war. These are two real Mexican fighters who are in the primes of their respective careers. I know Ponce is mentally focused and he will do everything possible to stop a guy who is moving up from taking his title. And Abner wants to prove he's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters out there," Espinoza told BoxingScene.com.
"Abner is tired of these experts ranking Nonito Donaire on these pound-for-pound lists, and they don't list Abner on these lists. Abner doesn't take easy fights. He doesn't fight guys who have one foot out the door. When he told me he wanted to go to featherweight, he wanted the most dangerous guy, the most feared puncher in the division. Ponce is the same way. He will fight anyone. When Jayson Velez got injured, Ponce didn't care who we put him in the ring with - he just wanted to fight."
While Espinoza is not thrilled with having to watch two of his boxers pound on each other, he is thrilled with the fact that both of them are getting worldwide exposure.
"It's like [Golden Boy Promotions CEO] Richard Schaefer says, a Mayweather event is the "Super Bowl of Boxing." This is a historic event. Cinco De Mayo weekend. The debut of Mayweather on Showtime. Every manager in the world cut off their left leg to have his boxers involved on a show like this," Espinoza said.