WBA Featherweight World Champion Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) will be defending his title this Saturday night on December 10 against former three time world champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime from the Galen Center at USC in Los Angeles. This is must win situation for the 31-year-old Mares, as he lost his last fight to Leo Santa Cruz in August 2015 in losing a 12 round majority decision.
That was a tough loss for Mares, as he lost his WBA title and ook a lot of punishment in that fight. Mares had previously won three fights in a row against Artur Reyes, Jose Ramirez and Jonathan Oquendo. Those were fights that Mares took as fights to rebuild his career after he was stopped in the 1st round by Jhonny Gonzalez in August 2013. Mares was knocked down twice by Gonzalez in that fight.
Cuellar, 30, has won his last 11 fights after getting stopped in the 7th round by Oscar Escandon 2011. Cuellar captured the World Boxing Association title in 2015 and has since defended it twice in beating Vic Darchinyan and Jonathan Oquendo. Cuellar has looked good in those fights, but he wasn’t facing the best in the featherweight division.
“It’s been really tough not being able to fight this whole year,” said Mares. “We’ve been training and staying active the whole year even after my two fights got cancelled. I did full training camps for each fight. Things happen for a reason. I’m with a new coach in Robert Garcia and this year has only helped us get even more ready for this fight and helped us get to know each other as trainer and fighter. Yes, it has been frustrating, but you have to look at the bright side.”
This is a tough fight for Mares to be coming off of a long layoff. Cuellar can punch, and he’s going to be taking the fight to Mares in the same way that Jhonny Gonzalez did in his win over Mares. If Mares is going to be able to beat Cuellar, then he’s going to need to use some of his boxing skills so that he can get out of the way of his big shots.
The results of the Cuellar vs. Mares fight is important, because the winner will be able to p[potentially fight a unification fight.
Mares doesn’t look like the same fighter that previously won three division titles. He’s gotten older and doesn’t have the size or power to be fighting a featherweight.