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Abner Mares to face Fernando Montiel as part of March 12th card


Leo Santa Cruz vs Abner Mares fukuda

Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel, both three-division titleholders, will face off on March 12 on CBS as part of a telecast highlighted by Keith Thurman defending his welterweight WBA title against Shawn Porter at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, it was announced on Wednesday.

It’s the first prime-time boxing card on CBS (8:30 p.m. ET) in nearly 40 years in a show produced by Showtime Sports, and it involves two fighters who are coming off losses in the co-main event.

Mares lost a majority decision to Leo Santa Cruz in August while Montiel dropped a unanimous decision to Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight title in October.

Mares (29-2-1, 15 knockouts) has won titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds while Montiel (54-5-2, 39 knockouts) has captured championships at 112, 115 and 118 pounds over a 17-year career.

Mares praised the work he’s done with new trainer Robert Garcia.

“I’m ready to get back in the ring and have the boxing world see the monster that the Mares and Robert Garcia partnership is creating,” Mares said in a statement. “I’m a tough fighter. I’ve made some adjustments and I will show my warrior spirit and skill on March 12. It’s time to go to work.”

Montiel hopes to get back into his winning ways against Mares.

“I have been wanting to fight Abner Mares for many years,” said Montiel. “They say that styles make fights and Abner Mares’ style is tailor made for me. My last fight was a close decision against one of the best featherweights in the world in Lee Selby. I need to make every fight count and on March 12 Abner Mares will be my next step to another world title!”