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Who wins Mares-Morel? The experts weigh in
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Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: Eric Morel is tough enough to test Abner Mares in Mares’ first fight at 122 pounds. Morel, a former flyweight and super-flyweight champion, is 11-0 at bantamweight since his release from prison in 2007 after serving two years on a sexual assault conviction.
He knows his way around the ring. But so does Mares, who is 10 years younger and displayed poise in an adjustment to a low-blow controversy before a rematch victory over Joseph Agbeko. Another display of smarts and resilience could make Mares the next big star in the small weights.
Abner Mares SD 12 Eric Morel: Eric Morel is a very crafty and durable fighter but I believe Abner Mares is on a mission to stay on top. This fight will go the distance. Abner Mares by split decision.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: On paper, this is a reasonably even match up. But Abner Mares is the younger, fresher and more dynamic fighter who will come forward relentlessly.
Mares will take the fight by four or five rounds, perhaps securing a late knock out against Morel, with the stoppage happening in about round 11.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: Eric Morel has put together a solid winning streak, but he hasn't beaten anyone during it that is on Abner Mares' level.
Abner Mares TKO 9 Eric Morel: Abner Mares is a stronger, more active fighter who will slowly break Eric Morel down as the fight wears on. I don't see Morel being able to take the punishment he'll receive from Mares,
And the wear and tear of Morel's 48 fights and 36 years will show. Mares will win by stoppage in a bout that continues to improve his already impressive resume.
Abner Mares W 12 Eric Morel: Bottom line, Abner Mares is in his prime, and I think he's the bigger fighter here. I like him to win a clear decision over Eric Morel as he controls the center of the ring for much of the night in El Paso.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: I've got Abner Mares. He's young and starting to show he is a real force with solid wins over some of today's best bantamweights.
Eric Morel was great in his day but he may be a bit past his best days now and that won't cut it against Mares. Mares by unanimous decision.
Abner Mares UD12 Eric Morel: I would have started with Abner Mares' ability to handle the new weight class. But Eric Morel faces the same questions and will also be coming up from bantamweight.
Jack Obermayer, USA Boxing News
Abner Mares KO 11 Eric Morel: Simply put, Abner Mares is still going forward, while Eric Morel is living off the past. It will be something like Danny Garcia-Eric Morales.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: Abner Mares is coming off one of the toughest stretches you can ask for from any fighter at bantamweight.
With a disputed draw with Yhonny Perez, and wins over Vic Darchinyan and Joesph Agbeko twice, there is no question that Mares is the most accomplished and arguably most versatile fighter curreny in the division.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: Haven't been blown away by Eric Morel's comeback and felt the he received a gift-decision over Gerry Penalosa a few years back in Las Vegas.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: It's hard to see Eric Morel winning here. He's smaller, older, and hasn't won a significant fight in years. The Gerry Penalosa fight could have gone the other way, and that's as close as it gets. .
Mares's body attack and pursuit will be enough to dog Morel to a decision win. If Mares were a bigger puncher, this one might get ugly.
Abner Mares UD 12 Eric Morel: Abner Mares has a lot in common with his opponent, Eric Morel. They both had impressive amateur careers. They're both skillful boxer-punchers. They're both tough. The difference is that this is Mares' time.
Morel, 36, remains a good fighter but he's not what he once was. He has made a successful comeback from his three-year hiatius from boxing but has beaten mostly marginal opponents. Meanwhile, Mares, 26, has proved his mettle with a string of victories over elite opponents the past years.
The only advantage Morel will have is experience and that won't be enough. Mares will outclass the old man in every respect and win a one-sided decision.
Abner Mares W 12 Eric Morel: I'm going with Abner Mares by decision. I don't think Abner Mares has the power to finish off Eric Morel.
The experts favor the versatile Abner Mares to take the resourceful Eric Morel, 17-0
Photos of Mares by Carlos Delgado, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photos of Morel by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Photo of Mares-Abeko by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com