Abner Mares vs Jonathan Oquendo Preview July 12
Abner Mares of Mexico returns to the ring this Saturday, July 12 as he squares off against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This 10-round super bantamweight bout is on the undercard of the Erislandy Lara vs Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez bout and can be seen on the Showtime pay-per-view network in America, as well as on pay-per-view in Canada and on BoxNation in the UK. Mares is a former three-division titleholder who was stopped in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez last August. Mares lost his WBC Featherweight belt in the process.
Mares, who fights out of California, is now working with new trainer Virgil Hunter and is opening to get his career back on track against Oquendo. Basically, Oquendo has been hand-picked for Mares return bout as he’s been stopped both times he stepped up in class against. The 28-year-old Mares will enter the ring with a 26-1-1 record along with 14 Kos with his lone loss being to Gonzalez. His ultimate goal is to earn a rematch with Gonzalez, but he needs to look impressive against Oquendo first. He had a rematch clause with Gonzalez in his contract and was supposed to meet him again in February, but had to bow out due to an injury.
Mares is still regarded as a tough-as-nails competitor who isn’t afraid to take on boxing’s elite. He doesn’t mind going toe-to-toe with his opponents, but that ultimately cost him against Gonzalez. Now that he’s working with Hunter, we could see Mares try to utilize more of his boxing skills from now on. Hunter also works with the likes of Amir Khan and Andre Ward and has done well in the past when working with boxers who’d like to improve defensively. Mares said he’s going to be a more intelligent fighter in the ring since he’s working with Hill and can’t wait to step back in the ring.
The 30-year-old Oquendo is currently 24-3 and has 16 Kos to his name. He’s got some good boxing skills as well as decent power. His last bout was a 12-round unanimous decision against Guillermo Avila in March. He’s also fought some other good boxers since turning pro in 2004 as he’s met Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and Juan Manuel Lopez. Unfortunately for Oquendo, he was stopped by both of those fighters. Vazquez stopped him in 10 rounds in 2012 while Lopez halted him in the third round in 2008. Mares is also a step up in class for Oquendo and he could be in for a difficult time if Mares has indeed polished up on his boxing skills over the past several months.
Oquendo won’t be a pushover though since he has quick hands, good power and a fine left hook. Mares will need to stay alert and make sure he doesn’t look past Oquendo while thinking about a rematch with Gonzalez. Mares stands just over 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a 69-inch reach while Oquendo has a two-inch disadvantage in both departments.
This is a good test for Mares in his comeback fight. He’ll get the chance t use some of the boxing skills he’s been working on with Virgil Hill. He doesn’t want to get drawn into a firefight with Oquendo, but he can’t be too timid wither after getting stopped by Gonzalez last summer. If Mares can mix in his boxing skills with his usual tenacity and determination he should take this bout by a late stoppage or relatively comfortable decision.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with an Oquendo win being listed at +700 and a Mares victory at -1300. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.