"I just got done with 12 rounds of sparring today; feeling good, feeling great. Great conditioning, great experience. Two weeks away from the fight and I can't wait...I expect a tough fight, and when I say tough fight, not so much like a brawl. I mean a tough fight because he's, like you said, a tough cookie, a tough guy to hit, you know, a really elusive guy, a really technical fighter. He makes you miss a lot and he frustrates his opponents. That's his weapon. He gets you frustrated and then he's a surgeon. He starts nailing you after you're frustrated. My game plan is to just go in there and make it my fight, frustrate him, and, you know, make an uncomfortable fight for him...we've got a great plan, and I can't wait until November 10th," stated undefeated WBC super bantamweight champion Abner Mares, who talked about his upcoming November 10 showdown with Anselmo Moreno. Check it out!
BT: What's good Abner?
AM: Everything's good. Everything's really good, thank God. I just got done with 12 rounds of sparring today; feeling good, feeling great. Great conditioning, great experience. Two weeks away from the fight and I can't wait.
BT: I know the fight got moved around to different dates a few times. Did that make it difficult to stay consistent with your training schedule?
AM: No, not at all. If anything, I got more than enough time to train. First it was going to be October 20, then they said November 3rd, or something like that, and now November 10th, so I definitely had time to do my 10 weeks of training. Thank God we got notice of that early in the training, you know. It wasn't too deep into training, so it definitely didn't have any affect. If anything, we got 4 more weeks of training and, if anything, we pushed ourselves.
BT: This is your second fight back at 122. Do you feel better fighting at this weight than you did fighting at 118 just a year ago? Were you sucking down and taking a lot of weight off to make 118?
AM: Oh yeah, man. It's a lot of difference. I mean, anyone that knows, when it comes down to cutting weight, just one pound can drain you so much. Believe me, you know, these extra pounds definitely have an affect and I feel great. I feel more energized, you know, and definitely it's a good thing. I'm happy at 122. I'm not having problem making this weight right now.
BT: Moreno is a tough cookie. Does that motivate you more knowing that you're stepping in with a tough challenge as opposed to facing someone that you know is an easy assignment?
AM: Definitely man. You know what? It does. I, myself, knowing that you're facing someone so good, you know, so recognized and people know that he's a tough fighter, top pound-for-pound, you know, a really good fighter, it motivates me to train even harder and to show that I'm at this level and I can keep up with these guys and win; you know, beat these type of fighters, A-class level fighters.
BT: What kind of a fight are you expecting from Moreno on November 10.
AM: I expect a tough fight, and when I say tough fight, not so much like a brawl. I mean a tough fight because he's, like you said, a tough cookie, a tough guy to hit, you know, a really elusive guy, a really technical fighter. He makes you miss a lot and he frustrates his opponents. That's his weapon. He gets you frustrated and then he's a surgeon. He starts nailing you after you're frustrated. My game plan is to just go in there and make it my fight, frustrate him, and, you know, make an uncomfortable fight for him.
BT: Has it been a challenge to find southpaw fighters who can emulate his style in sparring?
AM: There's a lot of southpaws here in LA, but it was hard to find someone who can relate to his style, you know, fight like he fights. We actually got like 2 or 3 guys, which were enough, believe me. These guys really fight like him. I mean, they're pushing me and taking it beyond, believe me. I have them watching tapes over and over on Anselmo and having them fight like him. We've got great sparring partners, we've got a great plan, and I can't wait until November 10th.
BT: Both of you guys fought Vic Darchinyan. Is it beneficial for you to watch tape of his fight with Darchinyan and compare it to how you approached that fight?
AM: Um, not really, man. To start off, I don't look at tapes. I don't look at Anselmo's fights. Obviously I've seen maybe 1 or 2 rounds of him fighting, but I've never seen a complete fight of him. I didn't see him fight against Darchinyan. That's when I fought as well, so I wasn't able to watch it live or on tape. And really, you can't compare that fight. Styles make fights. Everybody knows that. He really took this guy to school, so they say, made him miss and made it his fight. I, myself, I'll be honest, I had a tough fight against Darchinyan; a hell of a fight, a fight where I came back from a knockdown, a cut, and everything against me. I got the win too, but it comes down to me and him. He's facing Abner Mares. He's not facing a Vic Darchinyan or any other fighter he has faced.
BT: You mentioned that you don't look at tapes. Is it more beneficial for you to not watch tape on your opponent so you don't form a preconcieved idea of how they may fight?
AM: Yeah, for me, it does. I mean, everybody thinks different, you know. You have these guys that just watch tape of their opponents day after day and just really study their opponent. For me, I don't, you know, I don't like to. At the end of the day, you go in there and you gotta figure out the fighter inside the ring. I leave the video tape studying to my coaches and they tell me what he does a lot. That's why I got the sparring partners as well. Believe me, once I get into that ring, it's a matter of figuring him out and getting accustomed to the style and the way the fight is going.
BT: Talk to me about the 122-pound division. I know you've been very vocal about wanting to fight all of the big names, particularly Nonito Donaire. Do you ever watch some of these other guys when they fight and take note of their performance?
AM: I do, believe me, but I watch them as a boxing fan. I mean, these are fights that obviously I want to be made. I want to fight them, but it's not the time to study them, it's not the time to really focus on them because, you know, they're not there yet, they're not signed, and they're not happening yet, especially with the thing with Golden Boy and Top Rank going on. I do watch them. They're great fighters. This is a packed division with great talent and I'm just blessed to be at this weight class. I just can't wait to face Nonito, Guillermo, any of them; there's so many at this weight class and I want to continue that streak. God-willing, I come out with the victory this next fight and keep on going, keep on facing these type of fighters and not taking a step down, facing top opposition.
BT: You have been facing top opposition in several of your last few bouts. With that being said, do you feel like you get the same type of recognition as someone like Nonito Donaire, who a lot of people in the media consider to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters?
AM: Not really. No, I don't. I mean, I'm being honest here. I really don't, which kind of sucks, but then again, you know, I'm here to just fight and give the fans what they want to see. If I don't get the recognition, then oh well. As long as, you know, real boxing fans, people that really know boxing, know that I was there to give them a great fight and to fight the best. Nonito gets a lot of recognition. I mean, don't get me wrong, he's really a technical, great fighter. I mean, no doubt whatsoever, but if you really look at it, he really doesn't have the resume that I have, but, you know, again, it doesn't matter. I mean, I'ma continue to fight the best and if I don't get the recognition, then oh well.
BT: That being said, when you do go into a big fight, is that something that's on your mind just a little bit prior to the fight? Do you go into the fight feeling as though you have something to prove because you're not getting that same kind of recognition?
AM: To tell you the truth, no. I don't pressure myself like, "Oh man, I gotta step it up. I gotta look good." No, I just go in there. I know what I'm capable of doing. I know my level as a fighter. I know I can give a great fight and I know I can beat these guys, so I just go in there and execute my game plan, and that's it. I just want to perform. As I said, we're performers, we gotta go in and give a great show, and that's that. I don't pressure myself like, "I gotta knock this guy out. I gotta look impressive." No. People recognize and people know when you give it your all. You can't walk out of that ring with people not knowing if you gave your all or not.
BT: I know you never want to look past your opponent, but assuming everything goes well, where would you like a victory over Moreno to place you in the landscape of the 122-pound division and what are you hoping people will take away from your performance?
AM: I just hope that, God-willing, after this fight and we win this fight, that people will not so much recognize that Abner is a great fighter and that he's talented, but that they recognize that I'm in this to give them a great fight and I'm in there to give them what they want, and really have the fans pressure for the fight that should be made, and everyone knows which fight that is [vs. Nonito Donaire], and have them push for the fight to happen. Make history, you know, and be the first fight that they can pressure the promoter to make this fight. I just expect for that to happen and to get the recognition that I deserve. But at the end of the day, you know, I think that's going to come by itself.
BT: Well look bro, I know you just got done training and have a lot better things to do with your time than to talk to me (laughing). I appreciate the interview. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans in closing?
AM: Just make sure you follow me on Twitter, @abnermares00, and thank you all for the support, and the new fans, welcome. Expect a great fight and Abner Mares to give his all on November 10th.