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A Boxing Star on the Rise: Abner Mares Talks about the Journey

Exclusive Interview by Marc Anthony

“I just try to stay with the people that have been with me since day one with my ups and downs: Which is my family, my daughter, my wife, my mom and dad. I listen and I thank them for everything they say and how they see me. I see that as an encouragement to train hard and become someone in this sport.” -Abner Mares

Abner Mares, 21-0-1, 13 KO’s, is under the banner of Espinoza Boxing Club, training side by side with the likes of Israel Vazquez and Yonnhy Perez.

On September 7th, 2007, Abner won the WBO NABO Bantamweight title and is a two time defending champion. He is also a former Olympian for the 2004 games, a Silver Medalist at the 2004 World Junior Championships, Silver Medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games, Gold Medalist at the 2002 Central American & Caribbean Games, and a Gold Medalist at the 2002 World Cadet Championship.

As a Golden Boy Promotions rising star, Abner Mares comes with a victory this December 11th over Vic Darchinyan, earning him the IBO & WBC Silver Bantamweight Titles and a final spot in the prestigious Showtime Bantamweight tournament. He is set to face Joseph Agbeko at the finals.

MA: What were your feelings in fighting against Yonnhy Perez, your teammate, and friend?

When I first fought him, it was really hard. It was not easy because prior to the fight we lived under the same roof for about two years. We are teammates and under the same banner. It was just really hard. I know his family…he knows my family, but again he knows that this is our job and I know that this is what we do. Once we stepped in the ring, I think we just forgot our friendship and just got back to business.

MA: How do you see Yonnhy Perez vs. Vic Darchinyan playing out?

I see that fight really good for both of them. It’s a tough fight. Yonnhy is a fighter that doesn’t like moving backwards and again he knows Darchinyan is a type of fighter that pushes you. But again, I see Yonnhy pushing Vic back too. It’s going play off as whoever has the best game plan going into the ring. But I just see that is a tough fight for both of them.

MA: What are your feelings about MMA?

I really don’t follow it. It’s not that I don’t like it; I just don’t watch it. I really don’t even watch boxing. It’s not a rivalry thing.

MA: After your last fights weigh-ins, what was the first thing you did?

After the weigh-ins I went to eat right away. I went to go eat…fill up on carbs, and not try to eat too much. There are times you get overexcited and you just want to eat everything and when it comes to fight night you feel really full. That happened to me before but I learned already, so I just go eat, get ready for the fight, and walk around for a minute, then eat a little bit more and then go to sleep.

MA: Transitioning from Amateur to Pro…what is the biggest difference?

Yeah there is a big difference. I would say just on the smaller gloves and no head gear. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same. It is boxing. You get to fight different styles, you’re in the ring and you are fighting against a guy that knows how to fight. It’s all the same…just the headgear and the gloves that change.

MA: Can you talk about the amount of roadwork you do per day during training camp?

Definitely. I get up at five in the morning to go run at five thirty at a park. I run about a good six miles. There will be times on Wednesdays when we usually do sprints. We run about four miles and then do ten sprints and then other days we do hills. This training camp was way different from every other training camp. On this training camp we got a nutritionist/strength conditioning coach: We Run in the mornings, train in the afternoon and then a little bit of cardio in the evenings with my strength and conditioning coach: Luis Garcia.

MA: Which city that you fought in has the best fight crowd?

LA definitely! When I fought Yonnhy here at the Staples Center, I was just overwhelmed when I saw the big crowd chanting my name: “Mares!” “Mares!” It was just crazy.

MA: You could hear it during the fight?

Oh Yeah, definitely. I think that is the biggest crowd I ever had over here In LA, it’s just crazy. I really hope, and I cross my fingers, that the fight is somewhere near here in LA…my next fight with Agbeko.

MA: Sparring or in a live match, who surprised you the most?

This fight was the toughest fight that I had this last past one with Darchinyan. Just because he hits hard and I felt his punch, but then again, he surprised me by his boxing. He didn’t know brawl this time…he was boxing and actually using angles. He used the jab a little bit more and trying to set up punches. I was surprised by that. I think by far that is the toughest fight I have ever had.

MA: New Year’s Resolutions?

To become world champion again to keep defending titles and winning fights.

MA: With everyone giving you plenty of earned recognition as one of the brightest youngest stars. How do you stay so grounded?

Well definitely I try to stay humble. With my family, I just try to stay with the people that have been with me since day one with my ups and downs, which is my family, my daughter, my wife, my mom and dad. I listen and I thank them for everything they say and how they see me. I see that as an encouragement to train hard and become someone in this sport.

MA: I noticed on your twitter you bought new Jaguar.

Yeah I bought a Jag…I had it before this fight. I got it about three months ago.

MA: I thought it was a Xmas present.

No, no, I got it about three months ago but I barely posted it and today I got my first ticket, which sucked. I got a ticket for tinted windows and the license plate.

MA: What message do you want to give during these holidays and especially to the kids who are trying to make it in boxing as well?

Keep training. I know that once we are in the holidays and it’s just party and eat. But no, just keep training as you always do. Keep training hard and I wish everybody the best in these holidays, be safe Merry Xmas and a Happy New Years!

Abner Mares
Division: Bantamweight
Professional Record: 21- 0-1, 13 KO’s

2010-12-11 Vic Darchinyan Tacoma, Washington W SD 12
International Boxing Organization bantamweight title) vacant WBC Silver bantamweight title
2010-05-22 Yonnhy Perez Los Angeles, California D MD 12
IBF bantamweight title
2010-03-25 Felipe Almanza Los Angeles, California W KO 5

2009-08-27 Carlos Fulgencio Los Angeles, California W KO 6
2009-05-02 Jonathan Perez 120 Las Vegas, Nevada, W RTD 6

2008-06-27 Jonathan Arias Cabazon, California W UD 10
2008-03-15 Diosdado Gabi Las Vegas, Nevada W TKO 2

2007-11-17 Damian David Marchian Atlantic City, New Jersey W UD 12 WBO NABO bantamweight title
2007-09-07 Isidro Garcia Tucson, Arizona W RTD 7 WBO NABO bantamweight title
2007-07-06 Saul Gutierrez Texas, United States W UD 6
2007-04-20 Angel Antonio Priolo Cicero, Illinois W TKO 6
2007-03-02 Robert Allanic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania W RTD 8

2006-11-25 Wilmer Rodriguez Hidalgo, Texas W TKO 4
2006-09-15 Kevin Hudgins Chicago, Illinois W UD 8
2006-02-24 Omar Adorno Las Vegas, Nevada W UD 8

2005-12-16 Yamin Mohammad Austin, Texas W UD 8
2005-09-17 Selso Bosquez Las Vegas, Nevada W TKO 4
2005-07-16 Elvis Luciano Martinez Las Vegas, Nevada W TKO 3
2005-06-16 Baladan Trevizo Fort Worth, Texas W TKO 5
2005-04-29 David Vasquez Laredo, Texas W UD 6
2005-02-19 Francisco Soto Los Angeles, California W KO 5
2005-01-06 Luis Malave Tucson, Arizona W TKO 2

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