On Saturday, December 10, at Galen Center in Los Angeles, California, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, WBA World featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs), the hard-hitting southpaw from Jose C. Paz, Buenos Aires, Argentina, defends his title against former WBC World featherweight champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs), from Montebello, California, by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
“I’m really honored and privileged to be fighting December 10 in my hometown in LA,” said Mares on a recent teleconference call. “It’s going to be a great fight against a great fighter, Jesus Cuellar, a puncher, a guy who has a lot of strength, a guy that has lots to prove…As you guys know, I’ve never been in a boring fight. I always entertain. I find a way to give you guys explosive fights and this will be just that.”
Cuellar is a great puncher. He’ll be looking to knock Abner’s head from his shoulders.
“Once you get hit hard or anything that you can’t think of happens in the ring, I don’t think it’s based on your experiences, it’s more based on your willingness, your heart and the desire to continue,” Mares said. “I think that comes from deep inside, and I think I have that. I think I’ve showed it in many fights. I’ve had difficult times in different fights, so I think it just comes from inside. You can’t teach that, but again, yes, experience has helped a lot to get you out of certain things but, again, I think this is going to be one of the smartest fights we’re going to be able to fight.”
Mares has had eye trouble in the past, but reassured those who expressed concern.
“It’s nothing bad,” he said. “It’s something that happened in 2008. I had surgery done again in 2008. I have been fighting since. I’ve been cleared in every state I’ve fought in, other than New York. I fight in California, I fight in Texas, I fight in Vegas. I fight in Philly, too…My surgery is done. I’m good and like any other fighter I have the same risk.
“You have to see it and look at it on the positive side. Obviously, I haven’t been in the spotlight, no cameras around me, no lights, but I’ve been active. Since March, I’ve been getting ready for the fight. Every single fight has been postponed the week of the fight, so I’ve practically done training camps for two fights. So, that does not worry me, but if it happens you will feel it in the ring, and it’s just a matter of adjusting to it. It wears off within one or two rounds and just getting the rhythm of the fight going. I think we’re safe and we’ll be good.”
Mares lost a majority decision to Leo Santa Cruz in his last fight in August 2015. It was a war and the fight with Jesus Cuellar will be no different.
A former interim WBA titleholder, Cuellar won the WBA World featherweight title in 2015 with an eighth round stoppage of Vic Darchinyan. The fight against Mares will be the second defense of his title.
“I feel very good,” said Cuellar. “We’ve had a great training camp with Freddie and my entire team. I have been concentrating on this match-up and looking forward to the fight with Abner.”
The bond between Freddie Roach and a puncher like Jesus Cuellar looks like a match made in heaven.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot,” said Cuellar about working with Roach. “I feel extremely improved. We have a lot of confidence heading into this fight. I know that I have the size advantage and I’m the bigger fighter but I certainly cannot rely on that. I realize this is going to be a difficult match-up. Abner is a fantastic fighter. You have to beat the best in the world to be the best, and I have to bring my best because Abner is a heck of a talent.”
Jesus Cuellar vs. Abner Mares will be televised on Saturday, December 10, on Showtime Championship Boxing beginning at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
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.