Abner Mares and Eric Morel will battle for the super bantamweight's vacant WBC title. These are two fighters heading in two different directions. Morel's direction will prove to be the right one.
Mares is one of boxing's most exciting fighters. Morel's time is rapidly coming to a close, but he is extremely experienced.
Neither fighter is fighting at their natural weight and will require an adjustment.
Everyone seems to be taking Mares without hesitation in this matchup. But do not underestimate Eric "Little Hands of Stone" Morel and his plethora of ring experience.
Morel will claim the title, and here is how.
Morel has fought 48 career fights as opposed to Mares' 23 career contests.
Mares may be younger, but experience will go a long way in determining the outcome of this battle. Experience will allow Morel to control the ring and keep himself out of trouble. He does not have the same power that he used to have, but he can win a defensive bout if he fights carefully.
Morel will need every bit of his experience to claim the vacant WBC belt. His career has been at a standstill, and he will need his craftiness to overpower Mares' raw ability.
Morel needs to stick and move as much as he can. Using his jab to keep Mares at a distance will stifle Mares' willingness to attack and prolong the fight.
Morel's experience will also allow him to dance his way into an endurance contest. Despite his age, this benefits Morel.
Fighting the Odds
Many boxing fans wrote Morel off after his 2005 arrest. Morel lost three years of his prime and did not fight again until February of 2008. But this will only add fuel to Morel's fire. He has a chip on his shoulder and has almost nothing to lose in this fight.
Morel is supposed to be fodder for Mares' meteoric rise to new boxing plateaus. Mares has won four straight contests against four rock-solid opponents. Do not think for one second that Morel does not take his assumed role in this match personally.
Mares has momentum, talent and expectations on his side. Morel will counteract all of that with a fighters' mentality while he sets out to prove every observer wrong.
Morel has not been the same since his 2005 loss to Martin Castillo. He is now 36 years old, and this is probably his final shot at boxing relevance. A fighter with nothing to lose is always dangerous, especially when that fighter has been accomplished in the past.
Morel has one more championship fight left in his tank. He also has one last championship victory left.