Abner Mares remained unbeaten and retained his WBC 122-pound title with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Anselmo Moreno at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Mares (25-0-1, 13 knockouts), who was the aggressor throughout the grueling 12-round fight, won by scores of 116-110 (twice) and 120-106, which was not indicative of the competitive nature of the bout.
Moreno (33-2-1, 12 KOs), the reigning WBA bantamweight titleholder, had his moments in every round. The elusive southpaw never stopped moving or punching back, but Mares stayed on top of him throughout the Showtime-televised bout and landed hard shots all over the Panamanian’s body.
“My pressure was definitely the difference,” said Mares, who scored a fifth-round knockdown. “I felt good, I felt strong. He gave me hell. I took some great punches, but I kept him backing up.
“I didn’t want to let a guy who has so much finesse get comfortable.”
Mares called out RING/IBF/WBO 122-pound champ Nonito Donaire after the fight. The showdown is one fans want but differences between their respective promoters (Top Rank with Donaire and Golden Boy Promotions with Mares) threaten to keep the fight from happening.
“I want Donaire next,” Mares said. “I want to keep fighting the best out there. On our side, we’re willing. (Golden Boy president) Oscar De La Hoya said he’ll walk to Las Vegas and knock on (Top Rank CEO) Bob Arum’s door to get the fight made.”