The most exciting two-division champion of his era, Jhonny Gonzalez, looks to fight his way back to the top against undefeated WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares at the StubHub Center this Saturday.
The 27 year old Mares has won titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds and currently the undefeated younger man as compared to the grizzled Gonzalez at 31 years with 62 career bouts and 300+ rounds of wear on him. By career record Mares is 24-0-1, 14 KO to Gonzalez 54-8, 46 KO, but more importantly Mares is the money fighter picked by Golden Boy and Showtime to be featured for as long as they can ride him. He also happens to be one of the dirtiest boxers of his era with a plethora of blatant old school fouls that he is almost never reprimanded for much less penalized, so he’s clearly the house fighter from every angle save one.
It was a curse really when Hayman/GoldenBoy News of the Ring World “boxing experts” picked Mares by a 17-0 shutout to beat Jhonny Gonzalez. Early in the year they dismissed most of their “boxing experts” after some spectacularly blown shutout prognostications, so their latest team may have well set the stage for Jhonny Gonzalez for another one of his patented comebacks by blasting high flying favorites out of the sky like clay pigeons at a trap shoot.
Gonzalez has taken another step to improve his chances by employing legendary trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain to impart some of the Juan Manuel Marquez magic to the Gonzalez mix. He may have had spectacular wins over top competition Hozumi Hasegawa and Fernando Montiel, but it is Mares who will be the overwhelming darling of the sporting crowd who love a sure thing. The California referee is Jack Reiss who would seemingly favor the naturalized Californian over Gonzalez who primarily fights out of Mexico.
Could be a real stinker or could be a fantastic fight, all dependent on which version of Abner Mares turns up. He showed excellent natural talent and skills at the start of his career and seems to have a lot of heart, so we’ll have to see if he wants an all time classic between two top ranked Mexican fighters as part of his legacy.
Jhonny Gonzalez may be overmatched on paper, but he has shown a transcendental quality in his biggest fights, so Here’s Jhonny yet again loaded in the breech of destiny, waiting, waiting……waiting for those big looping punches to power him to yet another stunning upset as we await the opening bell. Can he?