Mares’ July 12 Foe Named and Juanma Returns
We know that Abner Mares’ next fight is on July 12. We also have found out who his opponent will be.
Golden Boy Promotions announced on Tuesday that former three – division champion Abner Mares will be facing Jonathan Oquendo in a 10 round featherweight attraction on the July 12 fight card featuring Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara. The card billed as “Honor and Glory” will be shown on pay-per-view via Showtime.
The bout will be a comeback fight of sorts for Mares who was last seen in ring action on August 2013 against Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez. Mares was knocked down twice in route to being stopped in the very first round by the grizzled veteran Gonzalez. It was Mares’ first career loss against 26 wins and 1 draw.
Mares said that “it’s been a long time” since his name was called and that he” can’t wait to get back in the ring”. Mares said that Oquendo is a respectable fighter, but since Oquendo is in the way of another title, he is going to “get him out of there”.
Mexico vs Puerto Rico Rivalry
Puerto Rican Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo, 30, is a former WBO NABO and Latino Super Bantamweight titlist. He has a record of 24-3 with 16 KO’s. Oquendo has won two straight bouts after losing to fellow Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vasquez Jr via seventh round TKO during their WBO International Super Bantanweight title clash in 2012.
Oquendo said that the rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico has produced great fights. He expects the same to happen when he squares off against Mares, a Mexican-American who fought under the colors of Mexico during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Oquendo added that a win over Mares will do wonders for his career and that he intends to leave Las Vegas with a victory.
Juan More Try?
Another worthy bout on the pay per view telecast will be the Juan Manuel Lopez-Francisco Vargas encounter. Juanma Lopez is running high on momentum after his March 15 knockout win over former two-division world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon. The bout was a rematch of their 2008 match up where Lopez blitzkrieg-ed his way to knockout Ponce De Leon in one round.
That win revitalized Juanma’s career after his disappointing 4th round knockout loss to Mikey Garcia during their WBO and Ring Featherweight title match last June 2013. Lopez has won just four of his last seven bouts, dropping three straight title matches after stringing 30 straight victories and two division titles.
Lopez said that he is great shape and that he has the momentum of his victory over Ponce De Leon going for him. He added that the MGM Grand is the place of his most famous win over Rafael Marquez and he hopes for more success there.
Vargas is undefeated in 19 bouts but has fought mostly unheralded opponents. But his last two victories against Jerry Belmontes and Abner Cotto have been impressive. The fight against Juanma is a major step up in the level of competition but if Vargas can upset Juanma, a title shot might be in the horizon.
Vargas vowed to give the fans a fight to remember and that he believes that it is his time. Both Juanma and Vargas represented their respective countries in the Olympics: Lopez for Puerto Rico in 2004 and Vargas for Mexico in 2008.
Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar de la Hoya promises fireworks on a memorable night that will highlight the great nationalistic rivalry in boxing between Mexico and Puerto Rico. With a loaded card and a main event that features Canelo Alvarez, Oscar may be right on the button with this prediction.
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