Thursday, September 28, 2023  |



Mares-Moreno ‘a sweet deal’ for Oct. 27

Fighters Network


WBC junior featherweight beltholder Abner Mares will defend his title against rising WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno on Oct. 27 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.

A 26-year-old Mexican-born fighter from Montebello, Calif., Mares will be trying to end a 27-bout winning streak that includes 10 knockouts for Moreno, who turned 27 in June.

Mares ran his record to 24-0-1, with 13 knockouts with a unanimous decision over Eric Morel for the vacant title in April in Mares’ 122-pound debut. On the Mares-Morel undercard, Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs) scored a ninth-round knockout of David De La Mora.

Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions had originally scheduled the date of the clash for Oct. 13 from The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Mares and Moreno will be fighting as part of a triple-header on Showtime, and the other two fights are being finalized and will be announced shortly. But with Mares and Moreno, this is obviously a very, very significant fight,” said Schaefer.

“So I’m happy that I was able to find a way, together with Showtime, to move it off of Oct. 13, because I really think that, whenever possible, we should make an effort to find, for those great fights, dates that make sure that significant fights on the separate networks, HBO and Showtime, do not collide.”

Moving the date of Mares-Moreno avoided a conflict with HBO and Top Rank, which will televise IBF and WBO junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) against Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs) on the network from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Oct. 13.

On the Donaire-Nishioka undercard, former lightweight beltholder Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) will be making his junior welterweight debut against Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs).

“I feel that with Mares and Moreno, you have a fight between two of the undisputed stars of the division, and, obviously, with Nonito Donaire fighting a few weeks before that, there’s a lot of action in this weight class,” said Schaefer.

“I think that it’s interesting that fight fans are going to have the opportunity to compare, back-to-back, pretty much these four fighters — Donaire, Nishioka, Mares and Moreno. Mares and Moreno is really the M&M of boxing. It’s a special treat and a sweet deal and an unbelievable fight.”

Schaefer credited Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of sports and event programming, for making room on a busy fall schedule for Mares-Moreno.

“I really want to thank Stephen Espinoza for being open to work with us on those dates,” said Schaefer. “He was very instrumental on getting this fight moved.”

There are still significant clashes, however, between the networks on Sept. 8 and on Sept. 15.

On Sept. 8, HBO and promoters Dan Goossen and Gary Shaw will feature WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 knockouts) making his third defense against John Molina (24-1, 19 KOs) on the undercard of a main event featuring RING light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) and RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs), the latter of whom will defend his RING, WBA and WBC titles from Oracle Arena in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.

Prior to DeMarco-Molina, HBO will televise a tape-delayed defense by WBC heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) against unbeaten Manuel Charr (21-0, 11 KOs), this, after the 6-foot-7 Klitschko will already have pursued his 13th straight victory in defense of his crown against the 6-4 Charr of Germany at Olympisky Sport Hall in Moscow.

Also on Sept. 8, Golden Boy Promotions, with Lou DiBella Entertainment, will feature a Showtime-televised clash between IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) and former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

On the Bailey-Alexander undercard, Lucas Matthysse (31-2, 29 KOs) will battle Nigerian southpaw Ajose Olusegun (30-0, 14 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout.


On Sept. 15 on HBO Pay Per View, there is a Top Rank match up between WBC middleweight belt-holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KOs) and RING champion Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) from The Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The Chavez Jr.-Martinez undercard also boasts Lou DiBella-promoted two-time middleweight title challenger Matthew Macklin (28-4, 19 KOs) opposite Joachim Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KOs), and junior lightweight Roman “Rocky” Martinez (25-1-1, 16 KOs) against Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-1, 17 KOs) for the WBO’s vacant belt.

Chavez-Martinez will also showcase light heavyweight prospect and Notre Dame graduate Mike Lee (10-0, 6 KOs) against Paul Harness (4-3-1, 3 KOs), of Saint Joseph, Mo.

Also being considered for the Chavez-Martinez card is a bout between WBA junior featherweight beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Robert Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs).

Rigondeaux-Marroquin is in jeopardy based on an order from Miami-Dade County judge David Miller on Aug. 23 which prevented Rigondeaux from facing Marroquin because the bout was not approved by Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde.

The Florida court system is reviewing Top Rank’s contract, which had not previously been provided, and will make a final decision soon, according to Top Rank lawyer David Marroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm,

In the meantime, however, Marroquin has reportedly already begun the search for a new opponent, whom Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has identified as hard-hitting right-hander Oscar Gonzalez (19-1, 13 KOs), of Mexico, a winner of his past four fights by knockout.

Meanwhile, Golden Boy has a Sept. 15, Showtime-televised main event featuring WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) opposite Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The Alvarez-Lopez event also matches sledge hammer-fisted Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28 KOs) against welterweight rival Jesus Soto Karass (26-7-3, 17 KOs), as well as WBC featherweight beltholder Jhonny Gonzalez (52-7, 45 KOs) pursuing his 13th straight win and his 12th knockout during that run in his fifth defense against former 122-pound titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon (43-4, 35 KOs).

Also on the card is an IBF bantamweight title bout between Mexican-born beltholder Leo Santa Cruz (20-0-1, 11 KOs), of Lincoln Heights, Calif., and Morel (46-3, 23 KOs), a Puerto Rican-born veteran contender out of Madison, Wis.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

.Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]