Abner Mares has been on a hot run, elevating himself onto pound for pound lists. But in the main event at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, on Saturday night, on Showtime, foe Jhonny Gonzalez pulled the plug on that talk, stopping Mares in round one with vicious left hooks. The ending came at 2:55 of the first.
Jhonny said after to Jim Gray that only trainer Nacho Beristain believed he could win. He said after the first knockdown, he knew he wanted to finish him off. Was experience the difference? He said Mares will be a champ again, but tonight was his night. Mares then spoke to Gray, after Jhonny wished him well, and Mares congratulated him, and offered a classy smile while doing so. “I'm good, I'm good, you win some, you lose some,” he said. He said he wants not just a good record but wants to fight the best, if that means a rematch, or another, tougher opponent. “I was alright but the ref did his job, he did his job, I respect that,” he said, when asked about the knockdowns. He told his oldest daughter that he was OK.
Golden Boy promoted the event.
The WBC featherweight champ Mares (age 27; living in CA, born in Mexico), a 2004 Olympian for Mexico, entered at 26-0-1. Jhonny (age 31; from Mexico; 14 year vet; former bantam and feather champ) entered at 54-8.
You have to root for Mares, a three division champion, growing up so poor there was times the family had to dumpster dive for food. He was familiar with Jhonny, having helped him with sparring five years ago.
A left hook sent Mares down and he was up at 30 seconds. He went down, on his back, and the ref waved it off after a two count.
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Check back for David Avila's ringside report.