Three-division champion Abner Mares still embraces fighting near home

Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens has fought several times in the greater Southern California area at places like Staples Center, Club Nokia and Honda Center. But the Artesia High graduate never gets tired of toiling in his neck of the woods.

Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs), who has won world titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions, on Aug. 24 will defend his featherweight belt against former champion Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico at StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center).

“I’m looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown fans on Aug. 24 at StubHub Center,” Mares said at a news conference Thursday. “Jhonny Gonzalez and I have a lot of respect for each other, but we know what’s at stake. I’m confident that we’re going to put on an explosive fight that fans will want to see.”

Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs) used to hold the title Mares now holds.

“The belt belongs to me,” Gonzalez said. “It’s time it returns to my waist. I will give it everything I’ve got on Aug. 24.”

The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised by Showtime.



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Bob Arum likens promoting Manny Pacquiao to a famous U.S. politician

Promoter Bob Arum has been known to toss out a wisecrack or two during his long career in the sweet science. He doled out some good stuff Thursday as he had lunch with a few reporters at Off Vine, a quaint bistro in Hollywood near Vine St.

Arum was asked how his fighter, Manny Pacquiao, is doing. Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round this past December in Las Vegas. Pacquiao will get back in the ring for the first time since then when he takes on former lightweight champion Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 at Venetian Resort in Macao, China (on HBO pay-per-view).

At first, Arum became playfully sarcastic when the question of how Pacquiao is doing was posed.

“How the (expletive) do I know?” he said.

Laughs all around. Arum continued and came with a zinger reflective of Pacquiao’s second job as a congressman in his native Philippines.

“Until he turns his attention to boxing, all he cares about is politics,” Arum said. “It’s like promoting Obama.”

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Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov in the works for Oct. 19 on HBO

A fight between interim junior welterweight champion Mike “Mile High” Alvarado of Denver and Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia is in the works for Oct. 19 at a site to be determined. It would likely be televised by HBO.

According to a story on, Provodnikov has already signed his contract. But Alvarado said he was not happy with the money being offered at this moment.

We tried to reach out to Alvarado’s promoter, Bob Arum, to no avail. Arum did tell his Top Rank Inc. spokesman, Lee Samuels, he would speak about it more today when he meets with reporters for a luncheon in Hollywood.

According to Samuels, the fight is not close to being done. If it comes to fruition, Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) would be taking on a fighter who gave welterweight champion Timothy Bradley all he could handle in March at Home Depot Center (now StubHub Center). Bradley won a narrow decision, but he was decked by Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) in the 12th round.

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Tickets for Abner Mares-Jhonny Gonzalez at StubHub Center go on sale Saturday

Tickets for the Aug. 24 featherweight title fight between champion Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens and Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico at StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. (PST).

Mares, 27, is quickly becoming one of the most dominant fighters in boxing. He has won titles in three weight classes – bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight – and has become a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter. He is 26-0-1 with 14 knockouts.

Gonzalez, 31, is a former bantamweight and featherweight champion. He is 54-8 with 46 knockouts.

Their bout will be televised by Showtime.

Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75 and $150. They can be purchased by calling 888-929-7849, going online at or through the StubHub Center box office.

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Ishe Smith cut postpones his title defense; Covina’s John Molina will be on card

It took Ishe Smith nearly 13 years to win a major world title. He did that when he defeated Cornelius Bundrage via majority decision in February to take a junior middleweight belt.

Smith, of Las Vegas, will have to wait a little longer to make his first defense. It was slated for July 19 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas against Carlos Molina of Chicago, but Smith has sustained a cut over his right eye in sparring, and that fight has been postponed.

A new date has not been set.

The card, which is to be televised by Showtime, will go on as planned. One of the two featured TV bouts will see John Molina (25-3, 20 KOs) of Covina taking on undefeated Mickey Bey (18-0-1, 9 KOs). Bey, a super featherweight from Cleveland, will be moving up in weight to take on Molina in the lightweight division.

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Heavyweight David Haye tweets he has signed to fight fellow Brit Tyson Fury

David Haye of England is one of the biggest trash-talkers in boxing. Fellow Brit Tyson Fury talks a lot, too. Haye on Monday tweeted that he has signed to fight Fury, who, like Haye, is a top 10 heavyweight contender.

“I’ve just signed to fight Fury on Sep 28, lets hope he finally agrees (and signs today) and he doesn’t keep delaying. Word around ‘Camp Fire’ is Fury is looking to duck me and fight Toney ‘The Tiger’. Lets hope they are just to rumours….” Haye tweeted; the latter fighter to whom he was referring is Tony “The Tiger” Thompson.

Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) is a former heavyweight champion. He lost his belt in a title-unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko in July 2011. It was a lackluster performance by Haye, to say the least. Haye has fought just once since then, stopping Dereck Chisora in the fifth round in July 2012. In other words, he talks more than he fights.

Fury, who is 6-foot-9, is 21-0 with 15 knockouts. He is coming off a seventh-round knockout of Steve Cunningham in April at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


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Heavyweight Tony ‘The Tiger’ Thompson again stops England’s David Price

Tony “The Tiger” Thompson of Washington D.C. on Saturday showed his TKO of fellow heavyweight contender David Price in February was no fluke when he again stopped Price inside the distance, in the fifth round. The bout took place at Echo Arena in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, the same place where Thompson upset Price via second-round TKO in their first bout.

Price decked Thompson in the second round Saturday, but Thompson made it all the way back, eventually stopping Price at 1:55 of the fifth.

Thompson, 41, is 38-3 with 26 knockouts. Price, of Liverpool, is 30. He is 15-2 with 13 knockouts.

The bout was televised on WealthTV.


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Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib gets in position for rematch with win over Mike Oliver

Billy “The Kid” Dib of Australia lost his featherweight world title to Evgeny Gradovich of Russia via split decision in March in Connecticut. Dib made no bones about it, he wants a rematch.

He took a step in that direction Friday night when he won a majority decision over Mike Oliver on “Friday Night Fights” on ESP2 from Connecticut Convention Center in Hartord, Conn. Dib won by two scores of 96-92, while the third card was even at 94-94.

Dib was deducted points for low blows in the second and third rounds.

Dib, 27, is 36-2 with 21 knockouts. Oliver, of Hartford, is 33. He is now 25-4 with eight knockouts.


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Three 10-round bouts to be televised by NBC Sports Network on Aug. 3

Three 10-round bouts – one in the heavyweight division – will highlight an Aug. 3 card at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., and all three will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Leading the way will be heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (48-2, 29 KOs) of Jersey City, N.J. via Poland going against Tony Grano (20-3-1, 16 KOs) of Hartford, Conn.

“We are going to see Tomasz Adamek perform again, and we all know what that means,” promoter Kathy Duva said. “Excitement, action, fun, thrills. He’s going to fighting a hometown fighter. Tony Grano comes from Connecticut. So for a change, there’s going to be people on both sides cheering.”

Also, Eddie Chambers (36-3, 18 KOs) of Philadelphia will go against Thabiso Mchunu (13-1, 10 KOs) of South Africa in the cruiserweight division. And Curtis Stevens (24-3, 17 KOs) of Brownsville, N.Y., will take on Saul Roman (37-9, 31 KOs) of Mexico in a middleweight bout.


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Floyd Mayweather Jr. will make a donation to the families of lost firefighters

Floyd Mayweather Jr. touched on many things Tuesday night at the downtown Los Angeles news conference promoting his Sept. 14 junior middleweight title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view). One subject broached was the tragedy that saw 19 firefighters lose their lives fighting a wildfire near Prescott, Ariz. on Sunday.

Mayweather said his company, Mayweather Promotions, will make a donation to the surviving families.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the people who lost their lives in those fires,” he said. “This was a terrible tragedy and everyone needs to support them. Never take anything for granted.”



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