Abner Mares will face Anselmo Moreno on October 27 in Anaheim, live on Showtime. (Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime)
Abner Mares will defend his super bantamweight title belt against top bantamweight Anselmo Moreno on October 27 in Anaheim, live on Showtime, with the fight being pushed off of an October 13 date to avoid a nasty matchup with a great HBO fight card on that night.
Mares (24-0-1, 13 KO) and Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KO) have been building toward this fight for about a year, as they've shared their last two fight dates on Showtime, with Mares in the main events and Moreno building up some support and opening some eyes in co-feature slots.
The 26-year-old Mares is one of the world's top super bantamweights, while Moreno is now pretty much universally regarded as the top dog in the bantamweight division, and the style clash makes for an exciting, high-level fight between two young guys who can really go.
The bout would have been up against HBO and Top Rank had it stayed on October 13, with Nonito Donaire facing Toshiaki Nishioka in the main event, and Brandon Rios taking on Mike Alvarado in a fight where both guys might already be bleeding.
Richard Schaefer told RingTV.com that he wanted to avoid going up against that card, which is a good sign for the future, if you take him at his word:
"I'm happy that I was able to find a way, together with Showtime, to move it off of Oct. 13, because I really think that, whenever possible, we should make an effort to find, for those great fights, dates that make sure that significant fights on the separate networks, HBO and Showtime, do not collide."
Schaefer also added this hilariously ridiculous quote:
"Mares and Moreno is really the M&M of boxing. It's a special treat and a sweet deal and an unbelievable fight."
But apart from Schaefer desperately trying to sound witty and fun, he's right that it's a great fight, and even if you go past the fact that head-to-head fight cards on HBO and Showtime just hurt fans, it also would have been a real shame to split the true, diehard, hardcore, "boxing-head" audience, the people who watch all the sport's shitty fights because sometimes, things like Donaire-Nishioka, Rios-Alvarado, and Mares-Moreno are delivered. It would have been awful to force those fans to choose between fight cards they really wanted to see, and with good reason.
Top Rank and Golden Boy are putting together some good cards right now, and these are about as good as it gets. That Golden Boy and Showtime made the move to keep it away from another great card shows a (probably grudging) respect for the audience that is appreciated, particularly if it isn't just some short-lived thing, and this is more the idea we have going forward than everyone trying to undercut each other and have their little battle that nobody wins.
Mares and Moreno both last fought on April 21, with Mares easily defeating Eric Morel, and Moreno bashing through David De La Mora. They also shared a card last December, with Mares beating Joseph Agbeko, and Moreno topping Vic Darchinyan.