Ponce De Leon vs Mares: Abner Mares planning to be smart, but ready for a war

Abner Mares is going in with a game plan and hoping to make it an easy night on Saturday, but says he's ready for a brawl if it comes down to it.

Marcos Villegas, The Boxing Channel

I just spoke to Oscar and he said when he made this fight with his matchmakers, he thought trilogy. Do you feel that this could turn into something like that?

Abner Mares

I hope not! I hope not. I'm gonna try to make it an easy night, you know, I'm not trying to make it a bloody night for my health. But if it turns out that way, then so be it. As long as the fans get a good fight, a great, exciting fight, I'm with it.

Marcos Villegas

Ponce De Leon, a guy you're familiar with, that you've trained with, you've seen for so long, did you ever think he'd be an opponent of yours?

Abner Mares

Never. Never crossed my mind. It's a guy that I grew up with, that I know really good. We have the same trainer -- well, I have the trainer now, it was his trainer back when he won his first world title. It never crossed my mind. Things happen for a reason. It's a small world. At the end of the day, we're both doing the same thing, we're both looking for the same dreams. He captured his. He's a world champion now, and as the champion he is, he plans on defending it. But I am the challenger, and I come to challenge and take that title away.

Marcos Villegas

Looking at the division, why not test out the waters? Why not see, like, how's the featherweight pace? How's the featherweight punch? How does my body feel as a featherweight, instead of going right in here and challenging for a title?

Abner Mares

I don't know! Why didn't I? I'm just messing. Just because I'm that type of fighter. I just wanna please the crowd, give them a good, exciting fight. I'm a guy that takes advantage of opportunities. The opportunity's there to fight for a world title, my third world title. I gotta take it. I can't say, no, let me take my time, let me fight an easy fight first. No, that's not me. I wanna fight the best. At the end of the day, I'm gonna go in there and fight. So with that said, it's a tough fight against Daniel Ponce De Leon, no doubt, but I think I've got the ability and skills to beat such an opponent.

Marcos Villegas

Do you see flashes of any of your other opponents? In Ponce, is there something you see that he does similar to Agbeko, or something he does similar to Yonnhy Perez?

Abner Mares

Hmmm, no. I try not to. There's no way you can compare him to any fighter. The only fighter that's kinda similar is Darchinyan. They're both lefty, crafty, fighters that throw from angles, hit hard. Once you go in there, it's a totally different fight. I can't get that in my mind, I've just to go in there, and think that I've got a game plan, and stick to that game plan.

Marcos Villegas

May 4th is gonna be a huge night, millions of people watching the pay-per-view. You wanna fight smart, you don't wanna fight sloppy, but do you feel that maybe the machismo, the Latin heat might come out, and you might wanna brawl more than you usually would, seeing it's such a big stage?

Abner Mares

It's happened. It's happened before, where I let the crowd and the atmosphere get to me, and just go all-out. I hear the people chanting "Mexico," and my name, and just, you know, it gets that Mexican out of me and I just wanna brawl. But I gotta keep it smart. I'm going in against a tough opponent, a heavy hitter. I can't let that happen. I gotta be smart, stick to my game plan, and get a W.

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