Mares: “The Only One Out There We Want is Nonito Donaire”. Mares Defeats Moreno via UD

By: Gordie Tamayo

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Panamanian technician Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1-12KO) moved up to 122lbs to challenge Abner Mares (24-0-1-13) for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship in one of the most anticipated matchups of the year.


Tensions were high from the opening bout and we saw some high energy exchanges from both fighters and a few dramatics as well (Moreno turning superman across the canvas). Mares was quick to pressure Moreno in an attempt to disrupt his style and Moreno was visibly frustrated, hence the holding.


Mares kept the gas pedal on and eventually it was enough to drop Moreno for the first time in his career at the end of the 5th although he made it up just before the bell. The sixth round reflected more of the same Mares assault where several solid overhand rights came raining down and rocked Moreno.


The body work of Mares paid dividends and caused Moreno to stay uncomfortable and leave himself open for more of the overhand wild rights from Mares. Frustration from both sides erupted leading to some behind the back shots and a warning from referee Caiz to dock Mares if it continued.


Round eight was one of the most entertaining rounds of the bout where Moreno seemed to have found his groove and stunned Mares momentarily causing the champion to back against the ropes and play possum. Moreno tagged Mares against the ropes with precision but it wasn’t enough make a dent in the public’s perception.


In the later rounds Mares began to fade and Moreno was finding his range. Although Mares played it off that any of Moreno’s shots had an effect, it was clear that the tide was changing; perhaps in Moreno’s favor. A point was deducted in round 11 from Moreno for pushing down the head of Mares which brought more dramatics to the bout and put Moreno in a further deficit.


Although not the cleanest fight, it was definitely an exhilarating bout between two dynamic elite fighters. The unanimous decision scores were 116-110 x2, 120-106 for Mares.


At the post fight interview, Mares stated Oscar Del La Hoya and team Golden Boy were willing to make a super bout between Nonito Donare and Abner Mares happen but they need Bob Arum and Top Rank to work with them to make it happen. When questioned about Mares facing Leo Santa Cruz, Mares simply chucked and said, “C’mon man no offense to Santa Cruz; he’s a great champion but we are trying to move up and face the best. The only one we want is Nonito Donaire”.

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