Mares vs. Moreno, a pivotal match up (Part I)

By Nick Bellafatto

In an intriguing match up with lucrative implications in the offing, undefeated and streaking Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KO’s) of Hawaiian Gardens, California is set to take on Panamanian rising star Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KO’s) this Saturday night on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. On the line will be Mares’s 122 pound WBC title as each man will be on a mission to prove his worth, with the winner’s stock to rise markedly.

As regards defending champion Mares, one fight removed from his campaign at bantamweight, he would recently be positioned for to then garner former champion Toshiaki Nishioka’s vacated WBC junior featherweight title, this by way of defeating the now retired Eric Morel. All told, Abner, who had not fought at 122 pounds previous to this, would love nothing more than to solidify himself amongst the ranks of junior featherweight with a convincing win over his upcoming foe.

And quite a statement it would be if he were to knock off in emphatic fashion the highly skilled Moreno, a fighter who not only sits at number 10 on Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list, but as well a defensive wizard who’s drawn comparisons to that of Hall of Fame fighter Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, so that seemingly Mares has his work cut out for him.

To determine how each athlete has specifically arrived at this juncture, although quite interesting, would  be somewhat exhaustive, so that the short term should serve the purpose as to what is likely to transpire this weekend. More specifically, the recent exploits of these two combatants are no doubt going to crossover into this contest, defined by a contrasting set of skills that when intertwined, should attract the utmost attention of those who care to witness.

And with Moreno most recently making the pound-for-pound list, I’m not so sure that his last few outings have rightfully merited him that position. To defeat an easy read in free swinging Vic Darchinyan, a fighter who’s punches you can see coming from the next county, as well as gaining the stoppage victory over the smaller one punch at a time throwing David De La Mora are perhaps not the most compelling of cases.

Quite possibly I’m underestimating Moreno in that he made things look quite easy in achieving these feats, but I believe that the gun has been jumped a bit as regards his current status. However, “Chemito,” in venturing up from bantamweight for this fight will be in the spotlight in a significant way this weekend, no less afforded a grand opportunity to earn his stripes.

On the other hand we have Abner Mares, a man who although coming upon his recent title in a questionable way, has nevertheless in my opinion fought fighters as of late who’ve posed more of a challenge as compared to that of Moreno’s latest opposition.

Not only would Abner vindicate himself as the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament champion by virtue of dusting off the formidable Joseph Agbeko in a return match, this after Abner’s initial and controversial foul filled performance against the Ghanaian fighter, but he would then go on to handily defeat a consummate pro in veteran and former world champion Eric Morel.

In essence, these exploits have made Abner a more polished fighter whereas this doesn’t necessarily appear to be the case concerning Moreno’s most recent adversarial match ups. Nevertheless there is something to be said of “Chemito,” a slick well rounded southpaw who’s managed to remain on top since May of 2008 as the reigning WBA bantamweight champion.

And while Moreno has no less been able to accomplish this feat while getting the monetary shaft over the years, reportedly paid as much as a few hundred dollars for one or another of his past title defenses, he’s now under the even handed management of Sampson Lewcowicz, so that the  Panamanian in finally receiving his just due, is hungry as ever to excel come fight night.

Of course this weekends outcome will be determined by what goes down in the ring between these battle tested warriors of which technical aspects I will delve into in part II of Mares vs. Moreno, a pivotal match up.

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