LOS ANGELES-It felt like Riverside heat, but in the heart of Los Angeles, despite the sweltering temperatures, Golden Boy Promotions brought the press to announce the super bantamweight world championship fight coming around the corner.
WBC super bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) accepted the challenge of IBF super bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KOs) on Nov. 10, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Showtime will televise four fights total that night.
“I want to thank Abner Mares who is willing to defend his title with someone like myself,” said Anselmo at the ESPNZone in LA Live on Tuesday. “I'm looking forward to facing a great champion.”
Mares, who is the first prizefighter that began his pro career with Golden Boy and became a champion, said he wants to prove his ability and is not looking for easy wins.
“It's a tough fight, I know he's a very talented fighter,” said Mares, 26, who lives in Montebello and signed with Golden Boy in 2004. “I know he's difficult to fight, but I'd rather have people respect me. I want to fight the best.”
Moreno and Mares both own wins over Vic Darchinyan who showed last weekend that he's still a top caliber fighter. It also means that both titleholders are possibly among the best prizefighters under 140 pounds in the world pound for pound.
Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy, said that it's no surprise that Mares didn't shy away from fighting Panama's Moreno or vice versa.
“We're always thrilled when he's up in that ring,” said De La Hoya of Mares. “He's a professional.”
That's a key word in the world of prizefighting. Mares and Moreno both have world titles and could play keep away but would rather determine who's the best of the best.
“I will defend my WBC title with everything I have,” promises Mares.
IBF bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 12 KOs) just recently fought in September in the MGM Grand where he won by knockout over Eric Morel. The East L.A. prizefighter wants to get back in the boxing ring, especially in his hometown.
“I'm glad to be fighting again soon so people can see me,” said Santa Cruz, 23. “I'm ready for a good fight.”
Despite an undefeated record the lanky 118-pounder was without a promoter until Golden Boy took a chance and signed him. Are they glad.
“He's a fighter who's ready for whatever,” said De La Hoya. “He's a machine.”
That's a good description of Santa Cruz, who bores into every opponent with a tight defense and impeccable timing offensively. Plus, his power has been increasing in every fight.
No opponent has been signed to date but De La Hoya said there is someone they are close to an agreement with.
Looking shaggy with extra hair and beard Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (20-2, 17 KOs) was happy to be in the heart of Los Angeles and anxious to perform at the Staples Center. He'll face Raul Casarez (19-2, 9 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout set for 12 rounds. Casarez hasn't lost a fight in seven years.
“I'm happy my first fight is in L.A. where there is a lot of support,” said Angulo, who spent nearly nine months in detention and was recently freed last month. “We'll work hard to please the people and show what I can do.”
Angulo last fought nearly a year ago in a firefight against James Kirkland that he lost in round six. He's anxious to eliminate that losing feeling.
“I will do my best. November 10 will be no exception,” Angulo said.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?