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Abner Mares vs. Jonathan Oquendo on July 12th at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada

By Dan Ambrose: Former three division world champion Abner Mares (25-1-1, 14 KO’s) will be returning to the ring on July 12th in a tuneup bout against Jonathan Oquendo (24-3m 16 KO’s) on the undercard of the Erislandy Lara vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez pay-per-view card on Showtime from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mares, 28, hasn’t fought since being stopped in the 1st round by Jhonny Gonzalez last August in Carson, California.

With the way that Mares was quickly moving up from one division after another without spending much time in each division, it was only a matter of time before he took too big of a step and got knocked out. That time happened when he moved up to the featherweight division and rushed into a fight against Gonzalez after having fought only once previously in the weight class against former former super bantamweight Daniel Ponce De Leon. Mares was totally destroyed by Gonzalez in a way that suggests that the same thing would happen if they were to fight again. Gonzalez was just too quick and too powerful for Mares.

Mares needs to make up his mind if he wants to get back in the ring with Gonzalez, because it might not be too good of an idea. Gonzalez seems to have Mares’ number, and I think he’ll knock him out again if they fight next year.

Oquendo shouldn’t give Mares too much problems unless the punches that Gonzalez landed on Mares somehow reduced his punch resistance. Oquendo was stopped in the 7th round two years ago by Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in 2012. Since then, Oquendo has won his last two fights in beating Miguel Tamayo and Guillermo Avila. Oquendo has respectable power, so Mares is going to need to be careful because if this guy connects with something big, Mares will need to be scooped up off the canvas the same way he was in the Gonzalez fight. Oquendo can do damage if you stand in front of him, and I suspect that Mares will choose to slug with him because that’s pretty much the only way he knows how to fight.

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