You can’t really keep a good fight from happening.
Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares will be fighting six months after they were originally scheduled to face each other. That bout was scrapped because Mares failed to get a medical clearance in New York due to a 2008 eye injury. With Mares cleared by the California State Athletic Commission, the two will headline Showtime’s December 20th event at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.
Three division champion Mares ( 29-2-1 with 15 KOs) hasn’t had a big victory since knocking out Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2013. In fact, Mares is coming off a close but clear unanimous decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz in last year’s Battle of Los Angeles. Cuellar (28-1 with 21 KOs), the hard hitting Argentine, hasn’t lost a bout since 2011 and will be making the sixth defense of the WBA (regular) Featherweight title which he won in 2013. The only blot on his record is a 7th round KO loss to Oscar Escandon in 2011.
High Output Fighters
Mares is known to be a pressure fighter who likes to keep himself busy in the ring throwing lots of punches. Not only that, he also works the body well and lands at a good 34% of his total punches. But if Mares throws a lot at 652 punches thrown per fight, Cuellar is surprisingly a busier fighter with an average of 716 punches thrown per bout. He isn’t as accurate thought at 24.4% but between him and Mares, the Argentine southpaw is the heavier hitter.
The concern with Mares is that he lets himself take unnecessary blows, as in his fight with Jhonny Gonzalez where he lost by KO. He can’t afford those same mistakes against the hard hitting Cuellar who will be looking to chop his head off. Cuellar has a two inch reach and a one and a half height advantage over Mares. Mares however has the edge in experience and level of competition faced. In the end though, this could go down to Cuellar’s power.
This is and even fight with both fighters currently pegged at -110 according to several gambling sites.
Mares is a crafty veteran who has been in some big wars and finds ways to win. Cuellar is an untested heavy hitter with a lot of potential. Both are coming off long layoffs after the postponement of their bout and ring rust will come to play here.
Given their recent showings, Cuellar’s combination of power and speed may be too much for Mares. He may be wild sometimes with his haymakers but against a guy like Mares who isn’t hard to hit, he will connect and Mares will feel his power. We’re picking Jesus Cuellar to win by KO in the second half of the bout.