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Abner Mares faces Fernando Montiel on 3/12 on Thurman-Porter card

Image: Abner Mares faces Fernando Montiel on 3/12 on Thurman-Porter cardBy Dan Ambrose: Former three division world champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) will be looking to bounce back from a loss in his last fight against Leo Santa Cruz when he faces 36-year-old former three division world champion Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) in a 10-round scheduled fight in featherweight action on March 12 on Premier Boxing Champions on CBS from the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

It’s unclear why Mares, #2 WBC, #3 WBA, is going back to fighting weak opposition once again by facing the well past his best #14 WBC Montiel. Mares, 30, chewed up a year and a half of his career fighting weaker opposition following a 1st round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez in 2013.

It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Mares chooses to throw away two or three more years of his career facing tune-ups. With the way that Mares is matched nowadays, it’s hard to believe that at point in his career, Mares was someone that was winning titles left and right and always fighting the best. All that changed after his loss to Johnny Gonzalez in 2013. That loss slowed Mares’ career down and led to him fighting nothing but tune-ups until his recent loss to Leo Santa Cruz.

When Mares finally did face a good opponent in August of last year in a fight against Santa Cruz, he lost the fight by a 12 round decision. It wasn’t surprising that Mares lost the fight because he hadn’t been facing good opposition for such a long time, and he has a lot of mileage on him at this point in his career. Mares also doesn’t seem to belong fighting at featherweight due to his lack of punching power.

Montiel was beaten by IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby by a 12 round decision in his last fight in October of last year in an arguably undeserved world title shot. Montiel was over-matched in that fight and easily beaten. Before that fight, Montiel had won his last eight fights against weak opposition.

Montiel used up three years of his career winning those eight fights against weak opposition. At some point, Montiel should have stopped with the tune-ups and started facing good opposition again, but he waited until 2015 to finally face a good opponent in Selby after throwing away 2013 and 2014. Montiel was beaten twice in 2011 in losing to Nonito Donaire and Victor Terrazas.

If Montiel can win this fight, it would be a major upset because Mares is a lot younger, bigger and seems to have a little more in the tank.

The Mares vs. Montiel fight will be on the undercard of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter fight. That’s a contest that promises to be much more interesting than the Mares-Montiel fight. Hopefully the boxing fans get some decent action from this fight, because I see the Mares-Montiel bout as being little more than a mismatch. Montiel is too old and small to be beating a guy like Mares, even though Mares is clearly on the downside of his career in terms of his talent and his match-making.

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