Abner Mares outboxes, outpoints Jesus Cuellar via split decision
Abner Mares recaptured the championship form that made him a three-division titleholder during his 12-round boxing exhibition against Jesus Cuellar, who he outpointed by split decision on Saturday at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Mares (29-2-1, 15 knockouts), who scored a knockdown with a well-timed right hand in Round 11, won by scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 112-115 in what was arguably his most disciplined and effective performance since stopping Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2013. Most observers thought Mares, who had not been in the ring since dropping a majority decision to Leo Santa Cruz last August, was in control during most of the fight.
The 29-year-old veteran, who has held titles at bantamweight, junior featherweight and now twice at featherweight (as the WBA’s “regular” title – which is not recognized by THE RING – was on the line on Saturday), moved and counter-punched well throughout the Showtime-televised fight.
“I feel so good, it’s been a long time,” Mares said after the fight. “We had the perfect game plan. I’m so happy. I’m blessed.”
Mares said the 15-month period of inactivity did not bother him at all during his preparation or during the fight and he credited new trainer Robert Garcia for helping him keep his focus against Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs), a heavy handed pressure fighting southpaw from Argentina.
“I never doubted myself. When I fought Leo, I beat myself because I didn’t fight the right fight.”
He fought the right fight against Cuellar.
A full ringside report by Michael Baca II will be posted soon.