By Dallas Orysiuk (@Chargers204)
Tonights doubleheader on Showtime saw two titles change hands, and it didn’t take very long for the belts to find new owners.
Going into the main event, Abner Mares was the heavy favorite to beat veteran Jhonny Gonzalez. Although only 31, Gonzalez had been in his share of wars, he had 8 defeats on his record and 62 fights. Meanwhile, Abner Mares was younger, undefeated and rated number 5 in the RING magazine Pound 4 Pound rankings.
But even as a fighter ages and drifts past their prime, there is one thing he usually retains, and that is his punching power. With 46 knockouts there was no questioning Gonzalez’s power. But Mares has beaten everyone and had one of the best resumes in boxing, and this should have been easy for him. Gonzalez wasn’t going to be used as a stepping stone, he had other plans.
The fighters started off cautiously, feeling each other out. But towards the end of the round Mares started to open up slightly, but then Gonzalez caught him with a monstrous left hook. Mares got up but he was still hurt. Gonzalez knew it was time to finish, so he peppered him with hard punches, dropping him again before the round could end. Mares tried to get up, but noticing how hurt he was the referee was forced to stop the contest at 2:55 in the first round.
Mares was humble in defeat stating, “I’m in this sport not to remain undefeated, but to fight the best”.
The attitude displayed by Mares was good and warrior-like, and there is no doubt we will see him again.
Gonzalez improves to 55-8 (47 KOs) and now has the WBC featherweight belt back which he previously lost. Abner Mares fell to 26-1-1 (14 KOs). It is uncertain if it will happen next, but you can imagine there will be a rematch between the two sometime down the road.
In the opening bout Leo Santa Cruz improved to 25-0-1 (15 KOs) by defeating Victor Terrazas (37-3-1, 21 KOs) by way of third round TKO. It was Terrazas first defense of the WBC super bantamweight title, his run with the belt was a short astonights fight.
It was Leo Santa Cruz’s toughest test to date, and boy did he impress by destroying Victor Terrazas. For the three rounds it lasted, the fight was entertaining. Even though Santa Cruz wonall 3 rounds, Terrazas fought hard, landing many hard blows on Santa Cruz. But Santa Cruz was superior; his relentless pace and high volume of punches was too much. He droppedTerrazas in the third, and when he got up he continued to pressure Terrazas forcing him to take a knee. The referee realized Terrazas was hurt, and since he could no long see out of his badly swollen eye, had to stop the fight.
It looked like an inevitable clash between Santa Cruz and Mares would occur. This is no longer the case. The fight may happen sometime down the road, but I doubt it is Golden Boys priority now, and the demand for the fight will have worn down. Santa Cruz will look to defend his newly acquired title while Mares will look to rebound from his defeat.by