Abner Mares, one of the few boxers of this generation to win world titles in three different weight classes, is back again as the featherweight world champion.
Mares defeated Jesus Cuellar via split decision to claim the WBA "regular" featherweight title on a day where U.S. boxing fans saw world title fights in the early hours in New Zealand, the afternoon in England, and in the evening on two separate boxing telecasts on HBO and Showtime. Two judges scored the fight in favor of Mares (117-110, 116-111) while another scored the bout 115-112 for Cuellar.
Below is an excerpt from Fightful's Darrin Doyle's live viewing party of the fight. Fightful scored the bout 117-111 for Mares.
Round 12: Cuellar pressing hard here in the 12th. Mares trading right with him. Cuellar lands a left and a glancing right but nothing to rough up Mares much. A good left for Cuellar followed by a skull rattling Right by Mares. Cuellar leaning in and throwing. Lands two but Mares catches him right back. Mares has Cuellar on the ropes now, looking to put a statement on the round. Cuellar throwing wildly but Mares now running around with his arms raised, seeming to know he should have this fight wrapped up. Another round for Mares in a great performance.
Mares could potentially challenge the winner of the Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz rematch in January. That fight will be for the WBA's "super" featherweight title and Mares could potentially fight the winner in a unification bout later in 2017. Mares has already faced Santa Cruz before, losing via majority decision for the then-vacant world featherweight title.
Mares previously won world titles at featherweight, super bantamweight and bantamweight.