Jesus Cuellar will defend his WBA World featherweight title against Abner Mares over a scheduled 12 rounds at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, June 25.
The 29-year-old Argentine is an eight-year pro (28-1, 21 KOs) who won the interim title in August 2013 by beating Claudio Marrero via unanimous decision. Upgraded to “regular” champ in February 2015, the southpaw has twice defended his title, first by knocking out Vic Darchinyan in the eighth last June, then by beating Jonathan Oquendo via unanimous decision six months later. “El Jinete” has only lost once, stopped by Oscar Escandon via 7th-round TKO in October 2011.
His 30-year-old opponent, a Mexican who fights out of Montebello, California, is an 11-year ring vet (29-2-1, 15 KOs) and former three-division world champ, winning the IBF World bantamweight title in August 2011 (vacated in February 2012) by beating Joseph Agbeko via majority decision, the vacant WBC World super bantamweight title in April 2012 (vacated in January 2013) by beating Eric Morel via unanimous decision, and the WBC World featherweight title in May 2013 by stopping Daniel Ponce De Leon via ninth-round TKO. Mares last fought this past August, losing in his quest for the vacant WBA Super World featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz, who won by majority decision. His other loss came in August 2013, Jhonny Gonzalez winning by first-round KO, thus scoring the WBC World featherweight title. His sole draw came against Yonnhy Perez in May 2010, in what was Mares’ first crack at the IBF. Fourth-ranked by the WBA, Mares last won this past March, beating Arturo Santos Reyes by unanimous decision.
The co-main event will feature Keith Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) defending his WBA World welterweight title against former IBF World welterweight titlist Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs).
Cuellar and Mares “will give fans a fight to remember,” says promoter Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, while “Keith Thurman against Shawn Porter is one of the best matchups that can be made in the welterweight division right now.”
The fights will air live on CBS.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.