Mares-Gonzalez Post-Fight Quotes and Observations

Newly-crowned WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez: “I knew it was over.?

Jhonny Gonzalez described what was going through his mind during his devastating first-round knockout of Abner Mares to seize the WBC featherweight title on Saturday night. Speaking to the press through an interpreter, Gonzales said he could tell “… from Mares reaction that it was over? as soon as he dropped his opponent on the seat of his pants with a lead wide left hook, and that “[he] just had to finish the job.? That he did, with a follow-up volley that dropped Mares again.

With five seconds remaining in the first round, the referee waved the fight off as Abner Mares was unable to rise from the canvas. 

A lead left hook, especially one as wide as Gonzalez threw, is generally a very risky punch to throw against an orthodox fighter. And Jhonny Gonzalez is known more as a high left hand guard, classic jab-straight right fighter. So why throw the lead left hook? 

Could it be that Gonzalez’s trainer, the esteemed Nacho Beristain, knew that Abner would be open for this shot? 

Beristain worked with Mares for seven pro fights, and according to the fighter, the two parted ways when Abner signed with manager Frank Espinoza. Seven training camps spanning two years is more than enough time for a coach to analyze their fighter's strengths and weaknesses under pressure in the gym and under the bright lights. 

Whether or not Berstain worked with Gonzalez specifically to set up the lead left hook, the cagey trainer did not reveal, but he did say, “I knew the fight wouldn’t go the distance. I trained [Mares] for many years. But I know Jhonny’s punches are hard.? Nacho added that “It hurt me to see [Mares] like that,? meaning on the canvas.

 

Esteemed boxing trainer Nacho Beristain regards former pupil Abner Mares

 

If Jhonny Gonzalez trained and fought with a chip on his shoulder, then he switched roles to play the gracious victor once his job of shocking the boxing world was complete. While his corner was celebrating, Gonzalez immediately squatted down to console Mares while the former champion was still unable to rise from his semi-reclined position.

 

Jhonny Gonzalez consoles the fallen Abner Mares following his first round knockout

 

When Mares came to the podium to address the media after the fight, Gonzalez even draped the WBC green belt over the former champion’s shoulder in a gesture of respect. 

Abner Mares gave his point of view of the knockout. Referring to the left hook, he said, “I didn’t feel the punch; it was just one of those where you get hit and you’re down. I got up, my legs were unsteady, and he got me.? 

As for enduring defeat for the first time as a professional, Mares maintained an upbeat outlook, vowed to learn from the loss by working hard in the gym after he spends time with his children and closed with, “There will be another day.?

 

Former WBC champion Abner Mares: “There will be another day.?



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