Upset of the Year Contender – Jhonny Gonzalez KO’s Mares in 1

Upset of the Year Contender – Jhonny Gonzalez KO’s Mares in 1


By Peter Wells

While a warrior’s instinct can bring great glory it can also be a fighter’s biggest downfall. So many have walked the tightrope leading to a pot of gold, 100ft above a pool of sharks. Some scientists of the ring bring along a harness to save them from the fall, but many come to entertain, ignoring the safety warnings for the sake of offering fans a thrill ride they’ll never forget. 

On Saturday night Abner Mares’ bid to entertain back-fired as he traded blows with knockout artist Jhonny Gonzalez. He had already walked the tightrope several times but on this night he lost his footing before he had even taken a step.

With 5 seconds left in round 1, referee Jack Reiss waved the contest off with Mares struggling to haul himself upright. Although Reiss maybe should have allowed Mares a chance to rise to his feet, it is unlikely that a minutes rest would have been enough for the three weight world champion.

Gonzalez stalled his celebration to check on his friend while he was sitting up against the ropes. Afterwards the two embraced, Mares making no excuses after the fight and promising to bounce straight back.

Many thought Gonzalez was past it, but it seems we read too much into the average display against Daniel Ponce De Leon. Even if he has past his physical peak, a fighter’s power is the last thing to vanish.

In the first 2 minutes both fighters were cautious, which seemed to suit Gonzalez. Mares then tried to push the pace in the final minute and after landing a crisp right to the body he was tagged hard by a left hook and dropped heavily to the canvas.

Mares looked stunned as he rose late in the count, initially not walking forward. Knowing Mares was still hurt; Gonzalez went for broke, swinging hard hooks in an attempt to force a stoppage. Mares obliged in a fire fight as he set about regaining his pride, trading wild shots against a fighter known for his vicious power punching. A right hand stung Mares before another three shots sent the champion to the canvas for a 2nd time.

Once again Mares wore an expression of shock; Reiss saw no need to continue his count, waving the fight off with Mares still seated on the canvas.

Abner Mares drops to 26-1-1(14) while the new WBC Featherweight champion of the world Jhonny Gonzalez moves to 55-8(47).

After the fight Mares stated he shall either pursuit a rematch or fight another top fighter in the Featherweight division. There’s no rebuilding job for Mares, making a Leo Santa Cruz fight very viable.

As for Jhonny, this warrior will be more than willing to fight whoever is put in front of him. I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation as to whether Golden Boy will match Santa Cruz with Gonzalez next time out.

On the undercard that wanted man, Leo Santa Cruz tore the WBC Super Bantamweight title from Victor Terrezas’ grasp with a fine 3rd round stoppage.

Terrezas was suddenly dragged into a toe-to-toe battle and was clearly struggling to keep with the young Cruz’ immense pace. After two thoroughly enjoyable rounds a left hook high on the temple stung Terrezas who in delayed reaction fell to the canvas.

It wasn’t long before Terrezas was down again, with no single punch clearly doing the damage. Just the barrage of leather seemed too much for Terrezas to handle. When rising Terrezas shook his head and referee Lou Moret stopped the fight.

With the defeat Terrezas dropped to a still impressive 37-3-1(21) while Santa Cruz moves to 25-0-1(15).

Terrezas at 30 years old can come again and will no doubt be involved in several more lucrative match-ups.

As for Santa Cruz, his name is now being placed with all the top fighters from Bantamweight to Featherweight. He truly is one of the sport’s biggest attractions.

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