It was quite a shocker when Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico knocked out Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens in the first round to take Mares’ featherweight title on Aug. 24 at StubHub Center. Now, Mares will get the chance to avenge that loss when he challenges Gonzalez for that title Feb. 15 at Staples Center (on Showtime).
Mares can’t wait.
“I’d like to thank Jhonny Gonzalez for this opportunity. It will be an honor to fight him a second time,” Mares said. “Aug. 24 was his night and I take nothing away from him, but Feb. 15 will be my night and I’m going to get my title back.”
Gonzalez doesn’t think so.
:”Abner Mares gave me my shot and now I’m giving him his,” he said. “I respect what he’s done in the ring and the heart he shows every time he fights, but I worked too hard for this to give it up now. I will keep my title on Feb. 15.”
Mares, 28, is 26-1-1 with 14 knockouts. Gonzalez, 32, is 55-8 with 47 knockouts.
Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The Artesia High graduate has won titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions and Saturday will defend his featherweight belt against former featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico at StubHub Center (on Showtime).
At Thursday’s final news conference, Oscar De La Hoya spoke highly of this main event.
“For the boxing fans in L.A., this is what boxing is all about and this is what they deserve,” said De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “Abner Mares is a special talent that we are witnessing in our era. He’s a talent that doesn’t come around very often. He’s fought nothing but the best. We all know Gonzalez. He’s a machine who is a tough puncher and a very calculated puncher. Jhonny knows this is his opportunity. Everybody knows that.”
Mares, who recently bought a house in Downey, is 26-0-1 with 14 knockouts. Gonzalez is 54-8 with 46 knockouts. Gonzalez lost his belt to Daniel Ponce De Leon in September 2012. Mares in turn took it from De Leon in May in Las Vegas.
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.
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 AXS.com or through the StubHub Center box office.
Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens is finally getting some recognition on respectable pound-for-pound lists. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, appreciates that. But Schaefer believes Mares should be in the top three, rather than in the bottom half of the top 10.
“In my opinion, there’s Floyd Mayweather, there’s Andre Ward and there’s Abner Mares,” Schaefer said. “That’s how, in my book, the ratings should be.”
Mares, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Southern California and attended Artesia High, has won titles in three weight classes – bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight. Most recently, he took Daniel Ponce De Leon’s featherweight belt via 9th-round TKO on the May 4 undercard of the Mayweather-Robert Guerrero welterweight championship at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Schaefer said Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) is hopeful his next fight can take place in Mexico.
Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens had already won titles in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions when he challenged Daniel Ponce De Leon for his featherweight title this past Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Not only was Mares moving up in weight, he was facing a left-handed power hitter in De Leon. Mares went right after De Leon and stopped him in the ninth round to become a three-division champion. As impressive as Mares was, trainer Abel Sanchez of West Covina believes we have yet to see his best.
“Just like Floyd (Mayweather), he seems to be getting stronger and better at the higher weights,” said Sanchez, who trains middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin out of his sprawling camp in Big Bear, Calif. “When he gets to 130 (super featherweight), he’s going to be an even better fighter. He has good mobility, he was able to withstand Ponce De Leon’s punching; De Leon’s a strong puncher.
“He’s not going to shy away from anybody. He has proven that in all of his fights. And to go in there against a guy who was at least 10 pounds heavier, he took everything De Leon threw and De Leon never wobbled him. I think it has a lot to do with him going up in weight. Not having to sacrifice for weight makes him a better fighter, just like it did with Floyd.”
De Leon appeared to be a good 10 pounds heavier than Mares at fight time.
Mares, 27, on Monday at 6 p.m. will be recognized by the city of Hawaiian Gardens at a special city council meeting.
Showtime on Saturday at 6 p.m. will televise a replay of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero welterweight title fight this past Saturday from MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather won a unanimous decision by three scores of 117-111 and is now 44-0.
Also being replayed is the semi-main event between Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens and Mexico’s Daniel Ponce De Leon. Mares, a former bantamweight and super bantamweight champion, moved up in weight and took De Leon’s featherweight title with a ninth-round TKO.
Both bouts were televised live on Showtime pay-per-view.
Abner Mares, the former bantamweight and super bantamweight champion from Hawaiian Gardens, moved up in weight and took Daniel Ponce De Leon’s featherweight title by stopping De Leon in the ninth round of their scheduled 12-round bout.
Mares decked De Leon in the second and ninth rounds. De Leon was being pummeled with shots to the head when referee Jay Nady stopped the fight at the 2:20 mark.
Mares is 26-0-1 with 14 knockouts. De Leon, of Mexico, is 44-5.