Abner Mares: Started from The Bottom Now I’m Here

October 18, 2013



The definition of willpower is, “the ability to control oneself and determine one’s actions.”  Growing up in Mexico, Abner Mares wasn’t able to control his financial situation.  His family was very poor and he wasn’t afforded the things normal families have growing up.  Necessities we take for granted everyday like food and clothes on our backs were often absent in his household.  The Mares family would often struggle to put food on the table every night, causing young Mares and siblings to go hungry.  It was that hunger that fueled Mares to carve out his own niche in life.  He needed to make something out of his life in order for his family to survive.  One thing in common in the inner city is the aspect of professional sports.  In Mexico, that is no different.  Either you turn to soccer or boxing, and Mares chose boxing as his profession. 

Mares had a great amateur career in Mexico.  He worked early on in his career with legendary trainer, Ignacio Beristain.  Even though young Mares was piling up wins, it was hard for him to earn a reputation as a great boxer early on.  It was then when Golden Boy Promotions stepped in and recognize Mares as one of the best bantamweights in the world.  Golden Boy coupled with Showtime to create a bantamweight tournament and included Mares among three others. The likes of Mares, Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko, and Yonnhy Perez where in that mix.  Together they formed a single elimination tournament to determine the best bantamweight fighter in the world.  It was there where Mares was able to make his mark.  Out of all the combatants in the tournament, Mares was still an unknown fighter.  The others all had reputable names in the division.  When faced with extreme pressure, most men fail.  It is the special few who are able to take that pressure and turn it into their own opportunity.  Impose their will on others and make their mark in the world.  Mares did just that.  In the first round he de-throne then champion, Vic Darchinyan.  The split decision victory was contested but that was primary due to Mares being an unknown.  Critics and fans alike could not believe where young Mares was coming from. 

After that surprise first round victory, Mares would then turn his focus on Joseph Agbeko in the tournament’s final.  It was there were he beat Agbeko in the first fight to capture the title but that did not come without controversy.  So they agreed to another fight to settle the score.  In the second fight Mares took home the victory decisively with a unanimous one sided decision.  It was clear after that fight Mares had arrived.  He was finally earning the respect he worked his whole life to get.  That tournament discovered more than the best bantamweight in the world, It also discovered one of the best fighters in the world.  That was the respect that he wanted to earned.  In his next series of fights, Mares would go on to beat great fighters in Eric Morel and Anselmo Moreno.  Not only did Mares beat these two fighters, but again did it convincingly.  It was those performances that got him his big shot on the world stage.  Mares would land as the main undercard to the biggest prize in boxing.  A pay per view fight on the same card as Floyd Mayweather.  Once again it was extreme pressure for such a young fighter who came out of Mexico.  Mares was also facing a fierce competitor in Daniel Ponce de Leon.  Ponce was also a fighter who came from humble beginnings and had to fight his way to the top. 

There is a saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”  Mares can live by that title.  In his fight against Ponce he delivered the performance of a lifetime.  Mares was always known as a great boxer by ways of switching his style to show how good of a puncher and how good of a boxer he could be.  That was making critics everywhere guess at which style he would try and beat Ponce with.  Ponce in that fight was ready for anything but ran into his biggest test of his career.  Mares switched styles beautifully in that fight going from boxer to puncher and back again.  Ponce eventually wore down and the ref had to save him before he would hurt himself.  Ponce is a fighter who never backs down but it was hard to watch him take anymore punishment.  After that fight, Mares had earned the biggest boost to his reputation and the guarantee that poverty would be long behind him.  A marketing plan from Golden Boy to make him one of the top watched fighters in the world was taking place.  His fight with Ponce did steal the show on Mayweather’s highly anticipated return to the ring.  Next came a dangerous but beatable opponent in Jhonny Gonzalez. 

On the night of August 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson California, Mares was once again the headliner on Showtime.  The night had already featured fellow stable mate Leo Santa Cruz in his coming out party.  All Mares had to do was win at any cost and elite status was sure to come his way.  Instead what happened that night was a rude awakening.  Mares took fire early on in the bout and was dropped from some very tough shots.  It was after then where I believed the whole world was in for seeing what Mares is truly made of.  Before we could all witness that a second knock down had an already nervous ref calling the fight.  Mares could have easily ran out the ring in outrage after that fight had been stopped prematurely.  Instead. he showed more class by staying in the ring and commending both the ref and Gonzalez for doing their jobs that night.  Even more of a gutsy act following the fight, Mares agreed already to an immediate rematch.  A rematch Gonzalez and Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristain are not too eager to agree with so quickly.  At this point Nacho wants Gonzalez to fight another fight before closing down for the year and wait until early next year to fight Mares.  Perhaps Nacho even knows that Mares willpower will be too much for his fighter to handle the next time they meet.  Only the toughest people can handle defeat in life and keep grinding their way back to the top.  Soon enough we will find out what exactly Mares is made of.  One thing is for sure, however, Mares went all the way from the very bottom of the barrel to the top of the world and plans on rebounding himself back to the top, very soon!



About robbase2324

I am a writer for The Heavy Bag where I cover the sport of boxing. I started liking the sport every since I could walk. I grew up watching the great fighters with my dad like Sugar Ray, Hector Camacho, Chavez Sr. to name a few early fighters I watched. My biggest influences are Roy Jones Jr., Oscar de La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, and Parnell Whitaker. I started freelance writing for The Heavy Bag in November. I have many articles on the site covering Jonathan Banks, Gamboa and 50 Cent, Alfredo Angulo, and Hammerin Hank Lundy. I do extensive research before I write on a particular subject before I write my articles. A lot of work us very fact based and I touch subjects in the fighters life that make up them as a person. You can reach out to me via twitter @robbase232401.

View all posts by robbase2324


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