Mares vs. Morel, Moreno vs. De La Mora analysis; Escalera-Brinson on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights

By Glyn Evans: British fight buffs get an opportunity to assess two Latino stars on the periphery of the sport’s pound for pound listings when BoxNation (Sky Ch.456/Virgin Ch. 546) televise the big ‘Battle of the Border’ world title double header from the Don Haskins Centre, El Paso, Texas on Saturday evening (early Sunday morning GMT).

Mexico’s Abner Mares and Panama’s Anselmo Moreno are men small in stature but immense in ability.

The former, now 26, is Golden Boy Promotion’s first homegrown champion. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico but raised in the gang infested Hawaiian Gardens district of Los Angeles, Mares was a habitual shoplifter and joyrider during a troubled adolescence. He claims he was sexually active at just 12, plus excluded from several schools. Boxing, not for the first time, provided salvation.

He began aged seven and racked up an elite 112-8 amateur card. World Cadets champion in 2002 and world junior silver medallist in 2004, the 5ft 4 1/2 in from Montebello, California boxed at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the singlet of his native Mexico (he was outpointed controversially by a Hungarian in the early rounds).

Debuting as a pro in January 2005, Mares cruised to 20 straight wins with his stiffest opponent proving to be a detached retina in late 2008.

But he has emerged as an outstanding talent since landing in world class in May 2010. In his last four starts, the Frank Espinoza managed star has drawn with then unbeaten IBF champ (and former flatmate!) Yonnhy Perez and, en route to triumphing in Showtime TV’s elite bantam tourney last year, he masterfully outpointed (ex IBF fly and WBA/WBC superfly king) Vic Darchinyan and Ghana’s IBF king Joseph Agbeko (twice). Top tier opponents, one and all!

With his choir boy looks and effervescent personality, not to mention Golden Boy’s potless marketing budget, the still unbeaten Mares (23-0-1) is one of the emerging stars of world boxing. Save for a kayo dig, he appears the complete package; a strong, nimble, speedy pressure fighter with well groomed technical tools, silky combinations and an incessant body attack.

On Saturday, he rises in weight to challenge for the vacant WBC superbantam crown against Puerto Rican veteran Eric Morel and he can certainly expect a stiff test.

Though well into his 37th year, the Wisconsin based ‘Little Hands of Steel’, is himself a fighter of considerable pedigree; bettered just twice in a 48 fight paid career that dates back to October 1996.

Born in San Juan, Morel embarked upon boxing at the age of eight and, like Mares, he is a world junior silver medallist (1992, in the vest of his native island) and an ex Olympian (Atlanta 1996, representing the USA).

Within four years of joining the profession, he was crowned world flyweight champion (WBA) after skilfully out foxing Thailand’s previously undefeated Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym, in his hometown of Madison. In the succeeding three years, he successfully defended on five occasions and established himself as one of the sport’s best operators if not its most marketable (courtesy of a cautious southpaw style). In December 2003, he surrendered his belt as much to the scales as to his conqueror, Venezuela’s Lorenzo Parra (lpts 12, Bayamon, Puerto Rico).

Rising immediately to super fly, Morel bagged the NABO crown but was widely outscored by Mexico’s very able Martin Castillo for the WBA strap in March 2005. It proved the most comprehensive defeat of his 16 year career but his mind might have been elsewhere.

Upon his release, he resumed his career in February 2008, aged 32, and has cobbled together 11 consecutive wins, most notably a February 2010 12 round victory over Filipino Gerry Penalosa for the WBO interim bantam crown. However, Mares represents his most taxing assignment for some considerable time.

At 5ft 6 ½ in tall, he will enjoy noticeable edges in height and reach, is vastly more experienced and his cagey, savvy southpaw skills establish him as an awkward proposition for anyone in the division. However, they shall now be carried on 36 year old legs. Whilst he shall probably be competitive up until half way, Mares greater natural strength and freshness should show after the turn and the logical pick is for Mares to emerge as a two weight champion after a dozen high quality rounds.

Co-headlining shall be Anselmo Moreno, Mares only real rival down at 118lbs and tenant of the WBA ‘Super’ belt.

A painter by trade and one of 16 children, the 26 year old Panamanian southpaw is an unsung but outstanding champion who collected the belt in May 2008 by schooling the Ukraine’s Wladimir Sidorenko over 12 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Known as ‘Chemito’, he has subsequently retained on nine occasions, securing wins in Germany, France (twice) Venezuela and the US; a world champion in the very purest sense.

In addition to Sidorenko whom he also mastered in a rematch, his stellar scalp list includes two split decisions over highly regarded Venezuelan Nehomar Cermeno, plus ex world champions Mahyar Monshipour (pts 12), Lorenzo Parra (rsc8) and, in his most recent gig, Vic Darchinyan.

The latter was broadcast in the UK on Premier Sports but, for those yet to see him, expect a smart, evasive counterpuncher, who fights from a crouch and pokes out an incessant southpaw jab. He is blessed with balletic footwork and knows every square inch of the ring canvas. Though his 32-1-1 slate lists just 14 stoppages, he is yet to be floored, and has the tools, tactics and temperament to win rounds. Definitely one for the purists.

Moreno’s propensity for stepping in with the very best available competition continues tomorrow evening when he squares off with hammer-handed Mexican David De La Mora.

The 23 year old challenger from Tijuana has stopped 17 in compiling a 24-1 card since turning pro (after 80 amateur bouts) as a 17 year old superflyweight in November 2006.

The defeat came, narrowly on points, after he rose from the canvas to push Japan’s Koki Kameda to the wire in a WBA title challenge last August. No discredit there.

Styles should mesh perfectly; the wily, seasoned counterpuncher against the fresh and feisty slugger. Moreno’s greater experience should ultimately prevail....just. But it’s no foregone conclusion and definitely one that hardcore fans won’t want to miss.

Live coverage on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) will start at 2am on Sunday 22nd April. Join at

BoxNation is the first dedicated subscription boxing TV channel in the UK to bring together the biggest names in amateur, domestic and international boxing with an unbeatable schedule of matches from across the globe.

For just £10 per month BoxNation offers unbeatable value for money for all fight fans. To subscribe to BoxNation simply go to and hit the “Subscribe Now” button and choose your subscription package. Simple!

Is Paddy Monaghan the Biggest Farce in Bare Knuckle Boxing?

Bare knuckle boxing (BKB) is the original form of combat, and over the hundreds of years champions have stood up and fought wars that would be unheard of in combat sports today.

BKB fans and historians are of course all well-educated of the famous 75-round war between John L. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain, and epic battle in which Sullivan came out the victor. Through the years countless warriors have stepped up and gone to battle in the bare knuckle circuit, whether it was for competition, fighting for your family name, or simply a payday, although one name stands out and may be the most questioned name in all of BKB—Paddy Monaghan.

Now, Paddy and his followers claim that the middleweight retired from the BKB scene with an unblemished record of 114-0, yet there are no photographs, videos or any other documentation supporting these claims.

Sure, you can Google his name and find countless websites, nicely written stat sheets and such, but anybody with a first grade education can create a page claiming to be the world champion bare knuckle boxer. Not to mention half of the photos of when Paddy was in his prime look photo shopped with his head on someone else’s body. True gloved boxing champions and current Hall-of-Famers have in fact told me Paddy was nothing more than Ali’s number one fan, and that is his TRUE and ONLY claim to fame.

As BKB continues to reemerge and become more mainstream, people like Paddy Monaghan are doing nothing but giving the critics and the analysts fuel for their fire.

Jokers who are nothing more than laptop warriors and telephone tough guys-- are taking away the legitimacy of true BKB from the actual fighters and champions.

Bobby Gunn, James Quinn, Dada 5000—all pioneers and LEGIT fighters working towards taking this sport to the next level, diligently striving to show the world the true science that BKB is.

But it’s a shame that anybody who can type can create such a farce as Paddy Monaghan, and people wonder why BKB isn’t as mainstream as gloved boxing or MMA.

So to all fans of BKB, and to potential fans, don’t get caught up in the nonsense and theatrics about Paddy Monaghan’s impressive 114-0 BKB record.

Documentation beats conversation all day long.

Paddy Monaghan is simply a comic book superstar; joker…call it what you will, but a fraud is a fraud is a fraud.


BRONX, NY (April 20, 2012) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing has announced a sensational super middleweight clash between Jason "Monstruo" Escalera and Nick "Machine Gun" Brinson for their ESPN2 Friday Night Nights event set for Friday, May 18th at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

The Escalera/Brinson scheduled eight rounder is the chief support to the junior welterweight showdown between undefeated contenders Ray 'Tito" Serrano and Karim "Hard Hitta" Mayfield for the NABO Championship.

The 27 year old, heavy-handed Escalera, sporting a record of 13-0-0 (12KO's), has stunned boxing fans in the New York/New Jersey area with his show stopping knockouts since turning professional four years ago.

Recently (February 4th), the Union City, New Jersey based Escalera made his Albany debut with a devastating fourth round stoppage of Marcus Brooks at the Times Union Center.

Fighting out of Geneva, New York, the 24-year-old Brinson heads into battle with Escalera with a record of 9-1-1 (5KO's). He is currently riding a two bout-winning streak since suffering his only loss, by then undefeated prospect Lennox Allen in November 2010.

"For both guys this is an opportunity to fight in front of a huge live crowd at the Times Union Center in Albany as well as show the national audience on ESPN and the rest of the world that they can take the next step" said DeGuardia.

"With similar records it's a true showdown between 2 prospects. Escalera and Brinson and they have very contrasting styles. Escalera has been brutally knocking out just about everyone while Brinson is much more of a boxer-puncher."

In addition to the two headlining bouts Star Boxing will soon be announcing details of a terrific undercard including the return of Capital Region's favorite son Kevin "Kid" Rooney Jr.

Priced at $75, $50, $40 and $30, advance tickets will be available through Ticketmaster, (, 800-745-3000) or at the Times Union Center Box Office, (1-800-30-EVENT), and at select Wal-Mart Music Centers. Tickets are also available by calling Star Boxing at 718-823-2000 or on their website at

The Times Union Center is location at 51 South Pearl Street in Albany, New York, 12207. Doors on the night of the event will open at 6:30pm with the first bell scheduled for 7:30pm.

Article posted on 20.04.2012

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