Mares-Morel, Moreno-De La Mora championship preview

Tom Casino/Showtime

THIS Saturday, UTEP’s Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas will host an exciting night of fights as two fighters who appear to be on a collision course square off in separate bouts. Former IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares 23-0 (13) will move up one division to face Eric Morel 46-2 (23) for the vacant WBC junior featherweight title (super bantamweight), while current WBA Super World bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno 32-1-1 (11) the title he’s owned since 2008 against David De La Mora 24-1 (17). While both Mares and Moreno are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, neither has mentioned the other as a possible future opponent. However, boxing fans and experts alike can’t help but envision the pair across from each other in the squared circle. They are the same age, the same size, and  this will be the second consecutive time they are featured on a card together.
Mares-Morel looks like a decent scrap on paper. How their contrasting styles play out could tell a different story. The undefeated Mares comes in as a heavy favorite due to being a decade younger than the 36 year-old Morel. He is fresh off consecutive victories over former champion Joseph Agbeko 28-4 (22), and winning the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament. While Morel holds a major advantage in experience, he will have to deal with the speed and explosiveness that have made Mares one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Morel, the former WBA flyweight champion from 2000-2003, enters the fight riding an 11-fight win streak dating back to 2008 after his release from prison. This intriguing match up will likely come down to who can impose their will and fight at their pace. Unless the added weight is too much for Mares to handle, the fight appears his to lose. Morel is up against it fighting three weight classes above his best performances, facing a much younger, more talented fighter, but anything can happen in Texas.
Moreno-De La Mora is a similar fight style-wise. Moreno has good defense and picks his spots with effective counter-punching, displaying his technical prowess. The Panamanian hasn’t lost a fight in nearly a decade, and the lone defeat on his resume has been avenged twice. His best win came just 4 months ago when he easily defeated former 3-division world champion Vic Darchinyan 37-5-1 (27) by wide unanimous decision. He has fought the better opposition having faced nothing but top competition since winning the WBA World title in 2008 from Volodymyr Sydorenko 22-3-2 (7). He was upgraded to Super champion with a 2011 tko of Lorenzo Parra 31-4-1 (18). De La Mora is the opposite of Moreno as he looks to end all of his fights early, applying constant pressure while throwing power shots, sometimes with reckless abandon. His lone loss as a professional came to WBA regular bantamweight titlist Koki Kameda 28-1 (17) of Japan last year. The fight was very close and many felt it could have gone either way. Despite coming up short his stock rose with his performance, after being floored in the 3rd round, to battle Kameda to a narrow loss. De La Mora will look to push the pace of the fight and attempt to crack Moreno’s defense. The advantages are in favor of the champion, but as we’ve seen recently things don’t always go as expected in the Lone Star state.

WBA Bantamweight Super Champion Anselmo Moreno Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime

David De La Mora Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime

Abner Mares Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime

Eric Morel Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime

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