Battle on the Border: Mexico battles Puerto Rico for world championship bout in El Paso
Marcie C. Wright,
Abner Mares and Eric Morel will face off for the World Boxing Association Super Bantam Weight World Championship belt at the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso for the Battle on the Border.
This Showtime cable event is a 12-round fight scheduled for April 21. This bout for the belt features a classic rivalry – Mexico against Puerto Rico. Both fighters gained pounds for the event. Morel is a former two-time world champion and Mares, an Olympian and bantam weight champion. The event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The coveted belt is vacant.
“Eric Morel – he’s a great fighter, he is. I never disrespect my opponents,” said Mares, of Guadalajara, Mexico. “Eric is going to be World Champion, but not at 122 pounds – maybe at 118 pounds (bantam weight).”
To his doubters, Mares said to remember when he came into this league, and keep in mind his unbeaten record of 24 fights with 13 knockouts.
“I started at 122 pounds, and then I went down to 118 for a while, but I’ve fought at 122 before and I anticipate the win and the belt.”
He called this opportunity a dream come true, also noting that he has big dreams – some bigger than this.
Morel hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. A former two-time world champion, “Little hands of Steel” fought on a winning streak since 2000, until he fell to heavy hitting Lorenzo Parra in 2003. After a three-year break, Morel stepped back into the ring, and now anticipates clinching another title belt.
“Boxing is not fair,” said Morel who has a record of 46-2. “When you win, you take one step at a time; you lose, you take 10 to 15 steps back. I’m not planning on taking 10 or 15 steps back. … This is the most important fight of my career and … I’m going to do anything in my power to come out victorious.”
Trainer Jose Guzman said he and Morel are training very hard for this event and declared his fighter physically and mentally ready. He anticipates this to be a “tough fight, but an exciting fight at the same time.”
Eric Gomez, vice president and chief matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions, called Morel hungry. He said Morel told him he wanted to fight the best and that he’s been waiting to fight his contender.
“I’m aware of Mares’ style, his power, his speed, what he’s capable of doing,” said Morel. “I know I can pull it off. I got the speed, the strength and I can do it.”
“The strategy for this fight is to figure out my opponent in the first round,” said Mares. “Take him into deep waters. He hasn’t been in a tough fight in a while; he’s been off for nearly two years so … we definitely want to take him there.
“I’m training really hard for this fight,” said Mares. “I’ve fought for Showtime before and I’m going to give you a great fight like I always do.”
Also on the card are WBA Bantamweight Super World Champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno who will defend his crown against Mexico’s David “Morita” de la Mora in another 12-round fight. Also featured is “Prospect of the Year” Gary Russell Jr. vs. Dat Nguyen in a 10-round featherweight fight, a long-anticipated fight that was rescheduled for cause of injury to then co-feature fighter Andre Berto II who would have faced Victor Ortiz Feb. 11.
Tickets for this triple header start at $25 and are available for purchase at the UTEP ticket office, Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-745-3000. To learn more, call 747-5234.
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