Abner Mares came back to the ring after a year off, to take on Jonathan Oquendo, in the third TV scrap on the Canel vs. Lara pay-per-view event. He boxed super smart, and didn't get into risky trades. It wasn't a fan friendly outing, by any means, but he did get love from the judges, via scores of 96-94, 98-92, 98-92.
Fans might beef but Mares was coming off a KO1 loss to Jhonny Gonzalez so it made sense to be a bit more protective of self. After, to Jim Gray, Mares said he felt a bit rusty, but was happy, because he got the win. Mares said he wants to fight Gonzalez, yes, or any featherweight.
Mares went 163-424 to 84-385 for the loser.
Mares (26-1-1; from Mexico) was 126 1/2 pounds while JO (24-3; from Puerto Rico) was 126 1/2 pounds on Friday, in a featherweight clash Saturday evening at the MGM in Vegas.
In the first, JO looked right there with Mares. His left hook looked hellacious, as it just missed a few times. In the second, Mares moved, backed up, looked for opportunities to get in, and get out. In the third, Mares ripped a right to the body, maybe signaling an intent to get nastier. Or no..would the influence of new trainer Virgil Hunter, more focus on D, stay prominent?
In round four, we saw blood coming from Mares' left eye lid, off a punch, according to ref Kenny Bayless. In the fifth, O kept trying to rip the left hook. He slipped smartly, threw and then clinched, and was happy to see Jo wait too much in round six. The cut was not a problem. In the seventh, Mares was again happy to see Oquendo being too economical. In the eighth, we saw Mares continuing to box super smart. In the ninth, Mares landed a right ripper near the end which scored bigtime. Oquendo's corner told him after he needed to win the next one, or a loss would be forthcoming. In the tenth, Oquendo was busier but it was too little...
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV