Give credit to 26-year-old rising star Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) for turning a potential stinker into an entertaining Showtime battle in a unanimous decision win over veteran former world titlist Eric Morel (46-3, 23 KOs) Saturday night in El Paso, Texas.
Mares, who would capture the vacant WBC junior featherweight title, started the bout with fire in his eyes and immediately forced the 36-year-old Morel into a fight.
Morel could have settled into a groove and used his experience to produce a slow-paced tactical bout, but Mares never gave him enough space to be the cutie. Instead, Mares' aggression nullified Morel's usually sharp jab and forced the Puerto Rican veteran to answer back as best he could or risk being blown away.
The Guadalajara-native Mares looked as sharp as he has ever been, peppering Morel with sharp shots to the head and body while always pushing forward with the confidence of a world-class fighter just reaching the prime of his career. It wasn't ...