Abner Mares' defense gets new date
Junior bantamweight titlist Abner Mares' first defense against bantamweight titleholder Anselmo "Chemito" Moreno, who is moving up in weight, has a new date and a new venue.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place Oct. 27 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., but has been moved to Nov. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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Showtime, which will carry the fight, worked with promoter Golden Boy to make the change after Manny Pacquiao, who was originally supposed to fight on Nov. 10 on HBO PPV, switched his return date -- still with no set opponent -- to Dec. 8, Showtime Sports general manager Stephen Espinoza told ESPN.com on Thursday.
"Once the Pacquiao fight definitively moved to Dec. 8, the Nov. 10 date became available, since there are no other fights scheduled on that date," Espinoza said. "The Nov. 10 date works better for Showtime's schedule, and it gives Abner an opportunity to fight in his own backyard. It also gives us more time to market and promote our telecast. We will have a highly competitive main event matchup between two of the top fighters in the lighter weight classes, as well as a very exciting undercard to be announced shortly.
"Best of all, we are able to avoid conflicting with another boxing event, since we have Nov. 10 free and clear."
Espinoza might not have the date free and clear, however, because even though Pacquiao is moving to Dec. 8, his promoter, Top Rank -- and Golden Boy's chief rival -- still has Nov. 10 on hold with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and could put on an HBO or HBO PPV event on the date.
Espinoza said that while he is talking to Golden Boy about the undercard, one of the televised bouts likely will involve the return of junior middleweight contender Alfredo "Perro" Angulo, 30, of Mexico.
Angulo (20-2, 17 KOs) has not fought since suffering a sixth-round knockout to James Kirkland in a blazing slugfest in November. Angulo was idle due to immigration issues that landed him in a detention center in Southern California awaiting a ruling on his status. The case was resolved in late July, freeing Angulo to legally be in the United States and continue his career.
Former bantamweight titlist Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs), 26, of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., gave up his title and moved up in weight to win a vacant junior featherweight belt via near-shutout decision against former flyweight titlist Eric Morel on April 21.
Mares and Moreno have been on a collision course for the past year. Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KOs), a 27-year-old southpaw from Panama, won a bantamweight belt in 2008 and has made 10 defenses, including his last two in the United States on Mares undercards -- a lopsided unanimous decision against former junior bantamweight and flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan and a ninth-round knockout of David De La Mora on April 21.