Abner Mares Wants To Be More Like Manny Pacquiao & Less Like Mayweather

King JSenior Writer IApril 18, 2011

Last Saturday evening while many fight fans were getting their beer and chicken wings ready for a good night of boxing fights to watch on the television, KING J was meeting up with IBO bantamweight champion Abner Mares 21(13)-0-1.

Mares is fighting the biggest fight of his life against IBF bantamweight champion Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko 28(22)-2 in the finals of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., Saturday, April 23, which can be seen live on Showtime.

KING J shot a very in-depth exclusive interview video with Mares, as the two talked about everything from his training camp for the Agbeko fight, his very humble beginnings dealing with extreme poverty, gang life, his goals for his boxing career, to his thoughts on boxing's biggest stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Abner Mares is being hyped as the next big thing on the Showtime network, and should he win his fight on Saturday against Agbeko, he will skyrocket his career onto the next level with the guaranteed stock-rising exposure that this tournament will provide.

Prior to meeting Abner I, like many of you, may have assumed that he was just another punk ass gang banger turned boxer who was going to act hard and be a total douche bag. I could have not been more wrong. Abner is probably the nicest fighter I have ever met so far. Extremely nice, humble and genuine. He also has a very inspiring Cinderella type of story that will indeed move you, and if you were not already a fan then after you watch this video, you will definitely be a fan of his.

Also Abner and I actually became bros from this interview and he promised to go eat at Red Lobster with me after each of his fights from now on.


The following are some of the hard-hitting questions from the exclusive Abner Mares interview video.



KING J: So Abner how are you? How did your training camp go? How ready are you for Joseph Agbeko come April 23rd? Also what can we expect in this fight?

Abner Mares: I'm ready. If I were to fight this weekend... I'd be more than ready. Weight is perfect. The camp we started really early. This fight is really tough against Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko. He's a great strong fighter, but we are here to prove something and we will do it come April 23rd.

KING J: We talked to the legendary Al Bernstein about your fight with Agbeko, and he was a bit concerned about how you are deciding to brawl more these days instead of being a boxer/puncher; he feels your technique suffers a bit when you do that.

Abner Mares: Well he's the expert that's for sure. Obviously he knows that I can box and not just brawl. A lot of people think that I am just a brawler just there to get hit and throw back, but I'm also a good boxer. So I'm just going to try to relax in this fight. It's going to be tough cause the fight's here in L.A. and the crowd is going to be cheering for me so I hope I can try to control that energy and excitement and try not to make it too much of a slug fest.

KING J: You know before this Showtime Bantamweight Tournament even began it seemed Showtime was already grooming you to be their next big star, their next poster boy. They were talking about how you were the favorite to win this tournament and on top of that how you were the best looking fighter in the tournament. But come on now, these are exactly the Sergio Martinez and Oscar De La Hoya looking fighters of the sport here.

Abner Mares: Well Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko... I think the name says it all. (laughing)

KING J: All the way back in November we talked to Nonito Donaire, who favored you to win the whole tournament. He even favored you to win the whole tournament before it even began. Also It seems if it were really up to him, minus the promoter beef/politics, he views you as the biggest and best fight at 118, and I think that is the real fight that all the fight fans want to see happen at 118, again minus all the promoter Top Rank/Golden Boy/BadBoy/DeathRow beef.

Abner Mares: It's a honor, its big to hear that from Donaire saying that he favors me to win this tournament, that says a lot. As he proved himself with Montiel getting that tremendous knock out his  out over Montiel, I'm here do the same with Agbeko. We both know that will be a huge fight for our careers. He's got the whole Philippines behind him, and I got part of Mexico and part of the U.S. and a lot of people behind me too. It would be a great fight and thank you Donaire for that and I wish we could do a fight but first we need to take care of business on the April 23rd.

KING J: You know I am good friends with your boxing Hall-of-Fame manager Frank Espinoza. He is a real inspiring man to see how he came up from nothing and how he worked so hard to become a successful respectful business man and manager in this sport of boxing is pretty much unheard of. I mean boxing has some of the most corrupt shady people on the planet, I mean some of these boxing guys make an evil dictator of a third-world nation look like Mr. Rogers, and you seemed to land one of the very few unique individuals in the sport who is actually ethical and is respected in terms of how he does business and represents his fighters.

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: Now we all know if you are an Espinoza fighter it is in your contract that Frankie Jr. must lift you you up if you win the fight. Now here's the real question you and fellow Espinoza stablemate Yhonny Perez fought to a highly debatable close draw shouldn't Frankie have lifted both of you up after that fight since it was ruled a draw?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: Pretty much everyone and their mama, many ringside experts, including myself, and even the chick I brought to that fight who knows nothing about boxing, all felt you should have won that fight. Usually people who don't know how to score a fight like this chick I brought often think the winner is the one who is the busier, more active fighter, throwing more and landing more and doing the more damage to your opponent. Did you learn something from this experience?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: I remember that night at the Staples Center it was obviously predominantly a Mexican crowd it being LA of course and having Marquez and Vazquez as the main event, but Perez had one section of the stadium full of his Colombian fans and they were much louder and energetic than the rest of the Staples Center combined. Do you remember that? Those were the most loudest, hardcore fans I have ever seen for any fighter! Did that distract you in that fight? There were literally grandmas screaming and dancing! It was like Def Comedy Jam for grandmas.

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: We have a bunch of good fights going on tonight such as Juan Manuel Lopez versus Salido. So you fought Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel Lopez in the amateurs, and word is you schooled him. What happened in that fight? Lopez is really starting to blow up now. Do you see yourself going up in weight later and fighting him again now that you both are professional super stars? How far up do you see yourself going up in weight class?

Abner Mares: Three tough fights. I fought him three times in the amateurs. In the Central American Games, the Pan American Games, once in his hometown in Puerto Rico. Tough fights man. Really exciting fights we had all the people on their feet. Now that this guy (Lopez) is on such a high level now it really motivates me a lot and gives me encouragement to know that I fought and beat him three times. Maybe later on in the future we will end up fighting again. I'm sure he wants to settle the score.

I want to do one or two more fights at bantamweight. God willing everything goes well with this fight (Agbeko) and then go up to super bantamweight and then most definitely featherweight and then go up until I can't eat no more. (laughing)

KING J: The two current biggest stars in boxing are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. You were at one point trained for a very short time by Mayweather Senior, and you met Money May very early on in your career. Obviously you would want to be the first Abner Mares, but which of the two fighters do you think you would like to be more like inside and outside the ring? Also who wins that fight? (Pacquiao vs Mayweather)

Abner Mares: I would want to be more like Manny Pacquiao....

KING J: Now is he that Filipino guy? (interrupting in a sarcastic manner)

Abner Mares: Yeah... you know who I'm talking about right? (confused)

Manny is such a humble guy. Everything he says you can tell he means it and it comes from the heart. When he fights he fights for the people. You know he's not just there for the paycheck. He's there for the people, he's there to fight and give the people a great show. As we all know with Floyd he even says he's fighting for the money and not the people. He's not there to entertain the crowd, not there to please us the people who are actually paying for the tickets. 

So a winner between those too obviously I'd go with Pacquiao. Let's just say I see him beating him (Mayweather). His style is just too difficult for Mayweather, and he won't even see him since Pacquiao is everywhere.

KING J: I got to look up this guy Pacquiao since everyone keeps talking about him. (sarcastically)

(Abner Mares now smiles knowing it's a joke)

KING J: So school all of us on how it was growing up in Hawaiian Gardens. For those of us who are not from LA, the name alone Hawaiian Gardens sounds like a beautiful magical place. I just came back from Hawaii myself and its literally paradise over there, but I'm assuming HG is bit different from Hawaii how was it growing up there?
(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: A lot of us read the RING magazine article on you and we saw you had a very hard life growing up in Hawaiian Gardens and you were heavily into the gang culture and unfortunately you lost a lot of your friends and family. A lot of them passed away and a lot of them got locked up. It seems what I got out of the article was you were really blessed to get out almost untouched with almost nothing really bad ever happening to you. What are your thoughts on that?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: So real quick what do you have to say to all these youngsters who are thinking about joining a gang. Should they join a gang? Or should they become a world champion instead?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: Usually I can't stand when fighters dress up in gimmick cheesy costumes like how Bernard Hopkins wears a S&M mask into the ring, but I love your trademark bandanna around your mouth. I think all the fans agree that look goes real hard. What inspired you to come up with that? Is it a throwback look to your younger hard thug ways growing up in HG?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: Many of us read about your very inspiring story in the RING Magazine and how hard you had it growing up very poor with no father, no money and no food. You had eat out of a dumpster behind Walmart just to survive and now these days you are eating at 5-star Beverly Hills restaurants, eating sushi with the heavyweight champion Klitschko. Is that the sickest upgrade ever?

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: I always ask all the fighters I interview to break down their overall work out routines in training camp, including diet so that we can inspire the fans to take better care of themselves. So what does an average day of your training camp involve? How many miles do you run? How many rounds do you spar? How many sit ups? Push ups? etc?
Abner Mares: Definitely. I recently started with a new nutritionist/conditioning coach/trainer Luis Garcia. I wake up really early every morning around 5:00 AM go running at 5:30 AM. I do my roadwork. Come back home. Drink my protein shake. Egg whites, oatmeal, depending on what I eat for breakfast. Take vitamins go to sleep. Get back up brush my teeth. Wash up real quick go to the gym around 12. Hit the gym, you know boxing. Then I go back home and eat a nice meal which is chicken, fish, vegetables. All that good stuff. Again vitamins, fill up on fluids. Then I walk around for a little while be there with my family, my daughter and then I go back to sleep. Wake up then I go to LA Fitness with my nutritionist/conditioning coach Luis Garcia. Work little bit on my arms and on my strength. So all that is new to me but it works out.

KING J: So how many miles do you run daily?

Abner Mares: We change it, so usually eight to 10 miles or we like to keep it six to seven miles.

KING J: How many push ups?/Sit ups?

Abner Mares: About 300 depending how I'm feeling. Pull ups, push ups, sit ups. Weights. All that natural stuff none of that heavy lifting stuff.

KING J: How many rounds do you spar?

Abner Mares: We spar three times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Most of the time we spar six, six and six. We pick it up to eight and then 10 and then we do about three or four 12 rounds.

KING J: We all know Mexicans are the hardest of hardcore fans of boxing. For all the haters who claim boxing is dying or even dead I always say as long as there are Mexican fans, Mexican fighters the sport of boxing will always be alive and will be a force. With legends like Julio Cesar Chavez retired and Mexican American cash cows like Oscar De La Hoya retired and great master boxers like Juan Manuel Marquez approaching the end of his career, it seems Mexico and Mexican Americans are longing for that next great Mexican champion to stand up and take over. If we are keeping it completely real despite what many are saying about the hype surrounding another red-haired Mexican fighter which we will not name, the real fight fans who really know boxing view you as the next logical Mexican super star to have the torch passed to.

(See the video to see Abner Mares respond to this question)

KING J: Are you aware of the KING J good luck charm? Basically whenever KING J posts a picture of himself with one of his favorite fighters on his profile, that fighter usually wins their current fight in a big huge fashion. For example prior to the Pacquiao/Hatton fight I posted a picture of me and Manny, and we all know how that fight ended. Same with Sergio Martinez/Paul Williams II, I posted a picture of me and him on my profile, and we all know how that fight ended. Mostly recently I posted a picture with me and Nonito Donaire prior to his fight with Montiel, and well, you know. So I think to wish you good luck with Agbeko we should take a picture together, and I should post it up.

Abner Mares: So I guess you better post a picture of me (smiling)........  Do not leave before taking a picture before with me please. (laughing)

KING J:  Alright I want to wish you the best of luck with your fight with Agbeko. We will definitely take that picture. I know you are going to put on a great performance and win over so many thousands and millions of new fans out there. What would you like to say to all your fans out there.

Abner Mares: Everyone thank you for following me. Follow future champion Abner Mares. I am here to give great fights and to fight for you guys. Follow me on my journey. Read my article in the RING magazine (April issue Vitali Klitschko on the cover). Read up on my story. Hopefully it inspired a lot of you guys. Thank you and God bless.


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