Jesus Cuellar-Abner Mares preview
By Sevak Sarkisian
As most fight fans already know, exciting Argentine Jesus Andres Cuellar (28-1 21KO’s) will be making his long awaited return to the ring this Saturday to defend his WBA featherweight world title against former three division world champion Abner Mares (29-2-1 15KO’s). The bout will take place at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles CA and will be televised live on Showtime.
Abner Mares is an admired figure amongst boxing fans and the main reason for that is the fact that he has shown the willingness to take on the very best throughout his whole career. In the early part of his career as a bantamweight, he took part in Showtime’s bantamweight tournament which included four top flight fighters from the weight class in Vic Darchinyan, Yonnhy Perez, Joseph Agbeko and of course Abner Mares. Mares managed to draw in his first fight of the tournament against Perez then won a controversial and disputed decision over future hall of fame fighter in Vic Darchinyan. Mares finally managed to win his first world title in his very next fight against Joseph Agbeko for the IBF bantamweight title. He then immediately moved up in weight and fought Eric Morel for the vacant WBC super bantamweight world title. He then went on to defend that title against Anselmo Moreno who at the time was regarded as a top ten pound for pound fighter by many fans. In my opinion, his win over Moreno is probably his best win to date considering where Moreno was in his career at the time. Mares then ended up taking on Daniel Ponce De Leon for the WBC featherweight title and ended up winning by TKO. He then tried to defend it against former champ Johnny Gonzalez and ended up getting knocked out in what many viewed to be a huge upset. Since that time, Mares has been struggling to regain his status prior to that knockout loss. His career since that fight has been a bit up and down and he hasn’t been able to be consistent in regards to his performances.
Mares stands at 5’4 ½ in height and possesses a 66 inch reach. Going into this fight, he is undoubtingly the smaller man. Mares was never a devastating puncher and at featherweight his power is nothing to be impressed with on the world class level. However, Mares does possess many great qualities such as decent hand speed, good skills and mental toughness. This will be his first fight with his new trainer Robert Garcia despite being together for about a year. That fact might give Mares an edge in this fight considering Garcia used to train Cuellar.
Jesus Cuellar on the other hand is a career featherweight who stands at 5’6 in height and possesses a 68 inch reach. He is physically very strong for the weight class and carries decent punching power as well. He holds wins over guys like Rico Ramos and Jonathan Oquendo. His wins over Juan Manuel Lopez and Vic Darchinyan, I personally don’t hold much regard in because they both should have been retired by the time Cuellar got to them. I have no doubt in my mind that Abner Mares is the overall better fighter between the two regarding skills, speed and athleticism. However, the fact that he’s not a true featherweight makes this an intriguing match up and a dangerous one for him.