EL PASO, Texas (March 21, 2012) – Abner Mares and Eric Morel held a press conference on Tuesday, March 20, at Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, to formally announce their upcoming showdown for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Bantamweight World Title on Saturday, April 21, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at Don Haskins Center.
A former Bantamweight World Champion, Mares (23-0-1, 13 KOs), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will return to the 122-pound division for the first time since 2006 to take on former Two-Time World Champion Eric “Little Hands of Steel” Morel (46-2, 23 KOs), of Madison, Wis. by way of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the 12-round main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader.
In a second world title fight, World Boxing Association (WBA) Bantamweight Super World Champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (31-2-1, 11 KOs), of Panama City, Panama, will defend his title for a 10th time when he faces Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico’s David “Morita” de la Mora (24-1, 17 KOs).
Opening the telecast will be a 10-round featherweight matchup between undefeated consensus 2011 “Prospect of the Year” Gary Russell Jr. (19-0, 11 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., and Dat Nguyen (17-2, 6 KO’s), of Vero Beach, Fla., by way of Vietnam.
Additional preliminary bouts will be televised live on SHOWTIME EXTREME.
Tickets, priced at $25, $50, $75 and $150, are available at the UTEP Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, please call (915) 747-5234.
What the participants had to say on Tuesday:
Abner Mares, Former Bantamweight World Champion
“This is a dream come true to be fighting for the WBC title. I never thought I would get this chance.
“Eric Morel is a great fighter. I have no doubt about that. He will be a world champion again someday, just not at 122 and not on April 21.
“I started my career at 122 pounds for my first 15 fights and then I moved down. I became the world champion there (118 pounds) and now it’s time to become a world champion at super bantamweight. My dreams are high. I’m definitely not going to stop.
“I’ve been on SHOWTIME four times now and you know I always bring a great fight. It will be no different on April 21.
“It will be a victory for Team Mares and for all the fans.”
Eric Morel, Former Two-Time World Champion
“I’m aware of Mares’ style, power, speed and what he is capable of doing. I know I can pull it off. I know I have the style and speed to do it and I’m going to do it.
“Boxing is not fair. You win and you take one step at a time and if you lose you take 15 steps back. I’m not planning on taking 15 steps back.
“This is the most important fight of my career. I’m not going to let this opportunity go by. I will do everything in my power to be victorious.
“April 21 is going to be a great fight and it’s not going to be easy for either one of us.”
Eric Gomez, Vice President/Matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions
“We have worked with Abner since the beginning and he takes boxing very seriously; as a champion and as a fighter and he represented Mexico in the Olympics.
“There is a great rivalry between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, so when you bring that into the picture it adds even more excitement to the fight.
“We know Abner has what it takes to be a world champion at 122 pounds and look forward to him showcasing his skills on April 21.
“Morel is very hungry. He has been up and down in his career. This is a great opportunity for him and I hope he takes advantage of it.”
Clemente Medina, Mares Trainer
“We are preparing extremely hard to be ready for another world championship. With all due respect to Eric Morel, we will not be denied.”
Frank Espinoza, Mares Co-Manager
“We are really excited to be here in El Paso.
“Abner Mares is the future of boxing. His performances with Yhonny Perez, Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko have proved that he deserves elite-level status. On April 21, he faces another former World Champ, this time for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship and an opportunity to continue his dream to be boxing’s next icon.
“You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see the future of boxing in Abner Mares.”
Jose Guzman, Morel Trainer
“We have been training very hard for this fight, and we are looking forward to it.”
Chris DeBlasio, Vice President of Communications, Sports & Event Programming for SHOWTIME Networks Inc.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have this tripleheader live on SHOWTIME. We’ve been fortunate to have witnessed Abner Mares come of age on our network. He’s demonstrated his toughness and incredible talent by winning the SHOWTIME Bantamweight Tournament last year. Now, with his move up to super bantamweight, Mares will take on a very tough opponent in Eric Morel in another important world championship fight.
“In addition to the three fights on the main network, we will have additional undercard fights live on SHOWTIME EXTREME, along with the SAP simulcast for our Spanish speaking audience.”
Jorge Vazquez, Executive Director of UTEP Special Events
“This is going to be a great event. We are excited to have SHOWTIME and Golden Boy Promotions here for another magnificent night of boxing.”
# # #
“Mares vs. Morel: Battle on the Border” is a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship set for Saturday, April 21 at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The co-featured fights will see Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno vs. David de la Mora in a 12-round fight for Moreno’s WBA Bantamweight Super Championship and 2011 “Prospect of the Year” Gary Russell Jr. vs. Dat Nguyen in 10-round featherweight fight. The event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader airs live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Just prior to the action on SHOWTIME, preliminary bouts will air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).