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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photo by Scott Hirano Showtime

Abner Mares: Cuellar is Obviously Bringing the Belt I Want

Former three-division world champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, California by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico will get another crack at a world title when he takes on the tough hard hitting Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 20 KO’s) of Argentina. Mares will square off against Cuellar on Saturday June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York live on CBS. spoke with Mares as he is gears up for his fight upcoming fight against Cuellar.

“This fight against Cuellar, June 25 in Brooklyn, New York, I am really excited for three reasons. One, I am finally going to New York I have never been there in my life. Two, god willing become a world champion. Three, I am definitely fighting a top level fighter, I like to fight this type of fight,” Abner Mares told Southern California “Against Cuellar you will see a different type of Abner Mares. Now with Robert Garcia as my coach with a slight advantage that he once trained Cuellar,” Mares added.

Acquiring the services of two-time Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, Mares parted ways for a second time with longtime trainer Clemente Medina. Now Mares is training at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside, California working with Garcia for the first time as he prepares in camp.

“My decision on taking Robert as a coach he has worked with many fighters. Training with him he said I am your coach and you do what I tell you to. That’s what I was looking for we have been training really well,” Mares said. “I am student, I go to the gym and listen to everything he says and I am back to that ground level fighter I just train my butt off,” Mares added.

Interestingly Garcia previously trained Cuellar as he guided the Argentine fighter to a world title and successful title defenses. Will that be an advantage or disadvantage for Mares?

“He took him to a world title and defended it with Robert plenty of times. So there are things that he knows so I am definitely training hard,” Mares said.

The Argentine slugger Cuellar won his first world title in August of 2013 with a unanimous decision over Claudio Marrero. He has successfully defended the title five times which include wins over former world champions Rico Ramos, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Vic Darchinynan. Cuellar is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jonanthan Oquendo last December.

“Cuellar is obviously bringing the belt that I want. The power and toughness, I think he is a tough fighter but you can’t say I am not either,” Mares said.

For Mares, this is a shot at redemption since suffering that first round knockout at the hands of Jhonny Gonzalez back in 2013, the former world champion has gone 3-1, 1 KO as he is coming off a unanimous decision loss to current world champion Leo Santa Cruz in giving a spirited effort last August.

“I just fought Leo Santa Cruz in my last fight I lost to. It was a tough fight, I lost obviously on paper but I think I gained a lot. I showed heart and that I could still do it, I feel I lost because of the game plan,” Mares said.

Having won his first world title with a decision over Joseph Agbeko in winning the IBF bantamweight title and won his second world title with a decision over Eric Morel winning the vacant WBC super bantamweight title. In May of 2013 he stopped Daniel Ponce De Leon to win the WBC featherweight title. Mares will look to bring home another title in what will be a tough task against the power punching Cuellar.

“I think this is an important fight because it’s another attempt to capture a world title,” Mares said. “I have been back but a win just puts me back where I should be,” Mares added.

Cuellar vs. Mares will be a scheduled twelve round championship fight for Cuellar’s WBA featherweight title part of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter card on CBS live on prime time as this will be Mares’s first time fighting in the Big Apple.

“I plan on showing the fans in New York, Abner Mares the fighter I have always been an exciting Mares they have seen on TV but now live,” Mares said.

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