FORMER three-division world champions Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel will square off in all-action co-feature on Saturday, March 12, live on CBS at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT.
In the main event of the first primetime boxing presentation on CBS in nearly 40 years, welterweight knockout artist Keith Thurman will defend his WBA Welterweight World Championship against former titlist Shawn Porter in a matchup of two elite fighters in boxing’s glamour division.
The event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment from Mohegan Sun Casino Resortin Connecticut, is produced by SHOWTIME Sports® for the CBS Television Network, both divisions of the CBS Corporation.
Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) and Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) are two of the most accomplished and entertaining Mexican boxers in the sport today. Mares compiled a staggering resume over the past five years while earning titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds. Montiel is one of the most skilled boxers of his generation having won championships at 112, 115 and 118 pounds over a 17-year career.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring and have the boxing world see the monster that the Mares and Robert Garcia partnership is creating,” said Abner Mares. “I’m a tough fighter. I’ve made some adjustments and I will show my warrior spirit and skill on March 12. It’s time to go to work.”
“I have been wanting to fight Abner Mares for many years,” said Montiel. “They say that styles make fights and Abner Mares’ style is tailor made for me. My last fight was a close decision against one of the best featherweights in the world in Lee Selby. I need to make every fight count and on March 12 Abner Mares will be my next step to another world title!”
“Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel are both proud warriors,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Both are coming off tough, competitive fights and both must win to once again realize championship dreams. This will be a throw down, entertaining battle.”
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and fighting out of Downey, Calif., Mares won his first title in 2011 when he beat Joseph Agbeko to win the bantamweight crown. He continued his rise up the pound-for-pound list with wins over Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce De Leon to win world titles at super bantamweight and featherweight. The 30-year-old won three straight fights leading to a massive showdown with Leo Santa Cruz last August. Mares showed the same explosiveness that made him a multiple division world champion in a thrilling Fight of the Year candidate that he lost by decision. The always-exciting Mares will enter the ring for the first time under the tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Garcia and strength coach Luis Garcia as he looks to work his way towards another world title.
The veteran Montiel won his first world title in 2000 over Isidro Garcia and went on to have title-winning performances over Pedro Alzacar, Ivan Hernandez, Z Gorres, Ciso Morales and Hozumi Hasegawa. Born in Sinaloa, Mexico, Montiel rode an eight-fight win streak heading into his October world title shot against Lee Selby. Montiel’s aggressive style frustrated Selby but it was not enough for him to grab a title in his fourth weight class. The 36-year-old has an opportunity to get back in the mix for a world title with a victory over Mares