Boxing News: Abner, can you please give us an update on your career? How have things been going for you?
Abner Mares: Life has been good, my personal life and my career. A little discouraged and sad about not being able to fight this past June/July. For certain reasons, the New York State Athletic Commission wouldn’t grant me the license to fight in their state. They went based on my history, basically. Before I get into detail with that, I’ve been good. I just came back from a 2.5 week trip to cover the Olympics. I covered boxing for Telemundo and that was awesome. It was a great experience for myself. Great exposure and a learning process as well. As far as I’ve heard, people thought I did an okay job so it’s something that I’ll think about, maybe in the future. It’s something we could definitely continue to do. I’ve been continually training. I stay focused and ready for whatever comes.
BN: Were you training with Robert Garcia while you were down there?
AM: Yes. I was going from work to work (laughs). The reason for that is that I want to stay in shape. I wanted to stay fit in case anything pops up. We’ve all heard talks about our potential fight with (Jesus) Cuellar. Nothing confirmed yet as far as a date but I know that it’s something that’s being worked on. Obviously there’s no way to hide it, you know. Cuellar has been training himself and he could have chosen a different fight, even after the fight got cancelled, but he chose to wait. So we’re just basically waiting for a confirmation and date.
BN: How are you feeling overall? You’ve been staying active and have previously said that you’re feeling 100%. Would you say that’s currently the case?
AM: That is the case. I’m 100%. I stay active. I have a great conditioning coach. I have a great coach, aside from boxing, and they know how to work and how to keep me active. As far as what to do, what not to do to ensure we don’t get over-burned, over-trained, so being active and knowing that there’s a possible fight just gives me the energy and the encouragement to continue doing what I do.
BN: What do you know about Cuellar as a possible opponent?
AM: You know what, I’m just really excited to be fighting a top level fighter. He’s a current champion so I’m not just fighting anyone. Coming off a year lay-off, that loss against a top opponent (Leo Santa Cruz). It was a tough fight and, going back to this fight, it just definitely lets you know that I’m here to fight anyone. I’m not here to take no easy fights. So I’m excited. I’m just excited because I’m facing a top-level fighter, a hard-punching fighter. I’m ready to feel his power, his willingness to come and fight, and show you guys what I’ve been learning with Robert Garcia as a new coach. So, with that being said, I just fell great. Fighting a top level fighter always brings the best out of me.
BN: What is the proudest moment of your career?
AM: Wow, that’s a tough one (laughs). I think my biggest accomplishment was my third world title. When I captured my third world title against Daniel Ponce DeLeon. People thought I was crazy moving up in weight. A lot of people thought that I was going to get knocked out by a hard-punching fighter like Ponce DeLeon at the time. At that moment, he was a world champion. So, I went in there and I knocked him out. and that proved a lot. So, I think that’s one of the most memorable and proud moments of my life.
BN: What was the most difficult moment you had as a professional?
AM: You know what, definitely back in 2008, when I got, like I said, and I’ve been telling everyone… this thing about my eye is nothing that we’ve been hiding. In 2008, I had a detached retina while fighting. That was known and that was said and that was cured with one surgery. So I think back in 2008 when I got the news from my ophthalmologist about my detached retina. That was one of the saddest and one of the most difficult times for myself and my family because they told me that I won’t be able to fight. At the moment, they told me you can’t fight anymore. After doing the surgery and taking care of that, a year later I came back and saw the best doctor here in LA and he said, “Abner, you are more than fit to fight.” Obviously, I’m going forward and giving you the good news (laughs) but, obviously, when they gave me that news it was the toughest time. Definitely the toughest moment.
BN: Who was the toughest opponent you ever faced?
AM: I haven’t had one honestly. I mean, they’re all tough. I had tough opponents, tough times. But I think that my toughest opponent to this day will always be myself. You know, getting up in the morning, going to run, wanting to train, getting the energy. And that’s true in life. You are always your toughest opponent and you have to beat yourself to do better and become better in life so, as a fighter, all my fights have been tough in some way.
BN: Are you your own worst critic?
AM: I definitely am. I’m a fighter that I don’t even want to look back. Ask me if I’ve gone back and seen the Leo fight. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t. Because I know what I did wrong. I know I fought the wrong fight. So why am I going to go back and look at something that I did wrong. I just like to hear it from people and that’s it. I don’t have to sit and look at it.
BN: What do you want to say to your fans?
AM: Don’t lose hope on Team Mares. Don’t lose hope on me. You’ll definitely see me fight again 3,4,5, maybe 6 times more (laughs). And I will give you my all. I will always give you my all in every single fight and I will retire as a top fighter that always fought the best.