Black Friday shopping is known for their amazing deals, but Showtime Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions may have the best holiday season deal yet; a two-for-one live airing of world championship boxing.
On Saturday night, December 10, a pair of long-awaited world title fights are scheduled to take place from the Galen Center in Los Angeles, CA and will air live on Showtime at 10:00 pm, EST.
The co-main event features two undefeated fighters, as Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (24-0, 18 KOs), defends his 154-pound world title against Julian “J-Rock” Williams (22-0-1, 14 KOs). This is a highly-anticipated fight as two young, talented and hungry fighters will face off for a world title.
Headlining the card is Featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina, who will take on the challenger, exciting Mexican fighter, Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs).
Mares’ return to the ring is highly anticipated as he is a former three-division world champion with a fan-friendly, high-output fight style. Mares has been inactive for over a year, as he has not fought since his majority-decision loss to rival Leo Santa Cruz in August 2015; a fight in which many critics viewed as a Fight of the Year contender.
The long layoff was out of Mares’ control, as he was scheduled to fight Cuellar earlier this year on the undercard of Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter but failed to pass a vision exam administered by the New York State Athletic Commission.
The time has arrived and Mares will finally get his chance to step back in the ring and face off against Cuellar as desired. The lack of activity and inability to make the fight sooner may have actually played in their favor as the anticipation level has now elevated Cuellar vs. Mares to main event status.
Mares himself also feels that the long layoff may have greatly benefited him. “Number 1, I got more time to train with a new coach, Robert Garcia. Number 2, I had all year to prepare for a southpaw. Number 3, I am fighting in my hometown of Los Angeles as the main event,” said Mares (via Premier Boxing Champions).
Mares has made a name for himself by being tough, rugged and never backing down from a war. This fight is no different as he takes on a world champion with a high-knockout percentage. Cuellar has stopped six of his last nine opponents and even managed to drop the remaining three who were able to go the distance.
Cuellar not only packs a powerful left hand, but he also takes the advantages in both height and reach. Mares however has an advantage in experience, with a total of 10 more fights than Cuellar and feels he with his experience he will be able to out-speed and out-smart him.
“Cuellar’s got me in height, reach, weight and power,” said Mares. “Cuellar’s a dangerous pressure fighter, but [he’s] slow.” “He awakens my instincts to be smarter and be a better boxer.”
Cuellar himself was formerly trained by world famous boxing trainer, Robert Garcia, who is now the current trainer of Mares. Garcia helped Cuellar to obtain a world title, but will now, with his new fighter, attempt to beat him in a world-title fight.
Mares feels that Cuellar leaving Garcia was a great downfall and one which he plans to capitalize on. “Cuellar will learn it was a big mistake to leave Robert,” said Mares. “I’m giving the fans a fight of the year performance… This is my chance to win a fourth world title.”
Cuellar vs. Mares has all the making of a fight of the year as high level fighters with great heart and great skills will battle it out for a world title this Saturday.
Photos by Dave Mandel/Showtime