Abner Mares, the new WBA Featherweight World Championship boxer (30-2-1, 15 KOs), and Robert Garcia, Boxing trainer who has coached 10 World Champion boxers, celebrate an electric and impressive upset with Mares’ 12-round split decision over defending champion Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) in Los Angeles this past Saturday. The fight was the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader.
Post-fight both Mares and Garcia reflect on the past year and what is ahead in 2017.
“First I want to thank God, my family – my wife Nathalie and two daughters, my mother and father, brothers and sisters – my team, Al Haymon, the PBC, SHOWTIME and the fans.
“The last year has been a tough one and for those that never gave up on me, thank you. For those that chose to cast doubt, thank you. All of you drove me to show you the warrior and athlete that I am and I have the WBA Featherweight title to prove it.
“A year ago I switched trainers and started working out with coach Robert Garcia in Riverside, CA. I trained six days a week, drove 90 minutes each way and committed myself to the things that Coach and I talked about. Reigniting my boxing skills, showing the focus, strength and most importantly, patience that makes a champion a champion.
“I fought in Riverside every week. You might not have seen me on TV, but the sparring partners, trainers and team Garcia fighters saw it. Day after day I did the work, and the results you saw last night show that my skills have never been stronger and faster.
“I have a great team that created a plan that supported me. My strength and conditioning coach Luis Garcia has been with me for over four years and together we have an ongoing programming that works. His focus on strength, endurance and a healthy, powerful body strengthened Coach Garcia’s plan in the ring. From Luis’s nutrition and workout plan to Coach’s schedule, it made me an even stronger athlete and more complete warrior.
“I’ve never been gone, some just chose to forget all the work I’ve done, opponents I’ve taken on and beaten, and the businesses I’ve built in this sport. As I said last night, I will take on and want all comers. I’ve been waiting for this moment and I am not stopping at Four titles. I’ve never backed down, never will, and will always give the fans a show in boxing. I’ve never been healthier, have that warrior spirit and drive to take on anyone in the division. I’m not stopping here.
“I’m grateful for what 2016 brought me – the renewed energy of Team Garcia and Team Mares, the continued support of my sponsor Under Armor, the opportunity to call boxing at the 2016 Rio Games, as well as the continued support of my community. Most importantly, I’m grateful to be a father, son, brother and friend.
“2017 is going to be an amazing year –every year is MY year. I’ve never taken an easy route but my path is one of a champion and it always will be. I’m in boxing for the long haul. I am not leaving. From the new faces I’m bringing to #TeamMares to the excitement I bring to the ring, you will want to be part of what we’re planning for next year.
“Happy holidays, Feliz Navidad y prospero Ano Nuevo. Next chapters begin now.”
“Abner is a tremendous boxer. The plan we created that he executed shows his speed, focus and strength and it resulted in the win and title.
“Fighters are made in the ring. Abner never leaves it outside of the ropes. He has the speed and power that makes him a world champion four times over, and his commitment to the plan and program is there.
“Every day he made the drive to train with me, and then he’d train at least one if not two times during the day with Luis (his strength and conditioning coach). We went through four camps in the past twelve months, we were ready for this fight, we knew who we were fighting, we were ready and Abner was the better boxer.
“2017 is going to be a tremendous year for Abner. He’s in one of the hottest divisions in boxing and this win and title just upsets it even more. We are ready for everyone in the division. Abner wants his title back as well as the others, and he can beat everyone in the division’s top 10.
“It’s Abner’s time. He has the talent, he has the focus, and he has the team. I know what we will be able to do together and it’s going to be tremendous.
“Have a blessed holidays, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, see you in 2017.”