By Jerome Souza (@Jerome510)
Las Vegas, NV – WBA Super Welterweight titleholder Abner Mares was in attendance at the pre-fight Frampton-Santa Cruz 2 activities at the MGM Grand this weekend. Mares is anxious to get back in the ring to either defend or unify his title. FirstClasBoxing.com asked Mares which of the main event fighter’s style he would match up against the best, “I already proved I match really well with Leo obviously you saw the first fight it was a good entertaining fight. But I think Carl Frampton has a little bit more skills and he’ll make me think a little bit more in the ring so I’m really excited to see who comes out victorious because I definitely want a shot”.
Mares, resides in Southern California has enjoyed the spoils of training and fighting close to home. Mares has had the opportunity to fight at the Staples Center, Galen Center, and Stubhub Center which are all in the Los Angeles area. Santa Cruz, who also resides in Southern California was forced to travel to the East Coast to defend his belt against Frampton in their first matchup. Mares believes the distance played a role in Santa Cruz’s approach in the fight. “Leo, who complained a bit of when he fought in New York, he said he wasn’t home, he felt like the crowd wasn’t there for him, but today if you saw at the weigh-in everyone was for Frampton, [Frampton] brings in a good crowd”. For Mares, venues and locations don’t make much of a difference for him. “I’m the type of guy it doesn’t really matter where you fight, you make your home in the ring. Leo should just forget about that”.
From a technical aspect, Mares thinks Santa Cruz should keep it simple and box with Frampton using his reach and refrain from coming forward to brawl. Mares also thinks that Santa Cruz should use the chants of the Frampton followers as motivation in the ring and work to turn the fans against Frampton in order to win the fight in the ring as well as the battle mentally. “I mean it really depends on the persona you know like me I would use it as motivation you know. Turn him against a you and towards you as fans. I’ve dealt with a place like that, I’ve had that type of crowd before. So again in other people it’s just the other way around, it makes you feel less, it makes you unmotivated so, I think that Leo is one of them.
With the recent announcement of Lee Selby’s cancellation, Mares sympathized with the situation but is also eager to fight him as well. “I do want to call [Selby] out, you know now, and will, for the remaining of the week because he’s the champion and you know I hold the title so I want to unify it. Even if I have to make the trip to his hometown I’m willing to fight Lee Selby”. Mares knows the feeling of fights being scrapped at the last moment, “It’s a tough moment, it’s unexplainable, obviously I feel bad for the guy because I’ve been in his shoes before were the fight gets cancelled the moment of the fight or even a couple of days before”.
Mares, like most fighters in attendance was very embracing of the support given to Frampton from the few thousand that made the flights from across the Atlantic Ocean and United States. “They’re really passionate about any sport and they’re passionate about supporting their teammate and countrymen. It’s good for the sport. No matter if they’re going against me, I mean at the end of the day, they’re hyping the sport and the event so I have nothing but respect for them”.by