by Paul Strauss: Super bantamweight Abner Mares 25 (KO 13)-0-1 literally ran after southpaw Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno 33 (KO 12)-2-1 Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA . He was determined to keep, for the most part, Moreno from getting set and displaying his masterful boxing skills. It’s one thing for a boxer to say he’s going to pressure his opponent and get him out of his game plan. It’s another to actually carry it out, and to such an extent that one judge thought the fight was a shutout.
That judge, James Jen-Kin, was in the minority. Most, including ringside commentators Al Bernstein, Steve Farhood and guest Paulie Malignaggi, all thought Moreno, who hasn’t been beaten in ten years, had managed to keep the fight much closer, despite being knocked down in the fifth and penalized a point in the eleventh for pulling Mares’ head down. The usually calm Bernstein got a little frustrated with what he thought were unfair tactics by Mares. Specifically, he felt Mares was deliberately lowering his head, bull rushing Moreno, and letting go with low-blows. Others chimed in that Moreno was pulling Mares’ head down; hence, the low blows. In fact, as previously mentioned, Moreno was the one who got penalized for doing so.
Not surprisingly, Paulie “The Magic Man” thought Moreno had no other choice but to do so. It’s either that or get head butted, Paulie explained. One possible solution is for a fighter to get his head lower than the one trying to head butt you, but that’s easier said than done. Moreno did attempt it on more than one occasion, but he’s too tall, relative to Mares, and it’s not his style.
On one occasion, the fight was momentarily stopped to let Moreno recover from a punch to the back, or kidney area. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. cautioned Mares that just because Moreno had turned away, it didn’t mean he could punch him in the back. In fact, it looked as though Mares was about to unleash a second shot to the back of Moreno’s head, but the referee stepped in just in time to prevent it.
If a coach ever wants to teach a fighter how to apply pressure, he can use film of this fight as a teaching aid. For much of the fight, Mares just over whelmed the usually slick Chemito. It’s one thing for a skilled fighter to avoid two or even three punches, but can you avoid ten or fifteen? Mares’ shots were thrown at everything from Anselmo’s hips and elbows to the side of his head and up the middle to his nose. It was damn near impossible to block them all, which was the case for Moreno. There were hooks, double hooks, uppercuts, shovel hooks, hammer shots and several rights thrown in rapid fire style.
Anselmo countered well, and had Mares in trouble with a good body shot, followed by some straight lefts. But, he just doesn’t have the punching power to keep a determined fighter, such as Mares away. It’s like trying to keep dry when you fall into the pool. You’re bound to get wet and maybe even swallow a little water and come up sputtering. It might be a different story, though, against a big puncher like Nonito Donaire. In the post-fight interview, Abner Mares called Donaire out, expressing a strong desire to have the fight made. Donaire needs to first get by Jorge Arce, which most think he will do, and then hopefully fans will be able to find out if Donaire’s power can put a little “hitch” in Mares’ giddyup!