Abner Mares, “It’s going to be a Leo, Johnny or Walters fight. For sure.”


Gary Russell-Abner Mares-Jhonny GonzalezAbner Mares(28-1-1 15 KO’s) will return to the ring against Arturo Santos Reyes(18-4 5 KO’s) on the premiere addition of PBC on NBC on March 7th. He will compete in the first official matchup of the series, putting himself in a position to face Leo Santa Cruz, Nicholas Walters, or a rematch with the only man to defeat him, Jhonny Gonzalez.

Fernando Pimentel of The Boxing Voice spoke with Abner at his training camp after he signed autographs for some fans. Even though he was added to the card as a late addition, Mares is looking forward to being on national television, in a fight that he’ll be the heavy favorite in. “I’m going to be in one of those fights where people say alright, let me see what this is all about….a lot of hype, they turn the channel and boom I’m there. So I just have to give a great performance and great fight, I’m excited.” Mares knows that a fight on the PBC on NBC card will set him up to take on the best in his division, most notably Leo Santa Cruz.

“It’s going to happen soon; it’s going to happen soon. Who knows, it might be the next fight, it’s going to be a Leo fight, a Jhonny fight, or a Walters fight. For sure.” The featherweight division is stacked with talent at the moment, and any of those top fighters would be compelling opponents for Mares. Though the idea of a rematch with Gonzalez would be tempting, and despite how much fun the thought of a Mares-Walters slugfest is, Mares makes it clear his sights are set on a matchup with Leo Santa Cruz.

“The fight most people go crazy about is the fight with Leo Santa Cruz. Especially out here in LA. If we get, that fight happening in the Staple Center, two guys from here. Even our fan base is split fifty-fifty. It’ll be great, it’ll be a tremendous fight.” A fight with Santa Cruz would be a beneficial endeavor for both fighters. Not only would it be a huge fight for Mares, but Santa Cruz would be able to if only temporarily, quiet the talk that he has been handled lightly thus far in his career and not been tested against top notch competition.Leo Santa cruz Abner Mares

Though Mares will be the favorite against Reyes, he knows it won’t be an easy fight. “That’s going to be a tremendous fight. He’s an ex- Olympian…He comes to win…He knows the opportunity he’s in. I’m training just as hard as I would for any fight.” If Mares can come out victorious in the spotlight that the NBC special is sure to be, he very well might be on the precipice of stardom and a golden opportunity against another rising star. If he can prove himself on March 7th, the best is truly yet to come for Mares.