The new WBA Featherweight World Championship boxer Abner Mares, impressive upset with 12-round split decision over defending champion Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) in Los Angeles this past Saturday.
Post-fight both Mares and Garcia reflect on the past year and what is ahead in 2017.
“First I want to thank God, my family – my wife Nathalie and two daughters, my mother and father, brothers and sisters – my team, Al Haymon, the PBC, SHOWTIME and the fans.
“The last year has been a tough one and for those that never gave up on me, thank you. For those that chose to cast doubt, thank you. All of you drove me to show you the warrior and athlete that I am and I have the WBA Featherweight title to prove it.
“A year ago I switched trainers and started working out with coach Robert Garcia in Riverside, CA. I trained six days a week, drove 90 minutes each way and committed myself to the things that Coach and I talked about. Reigniting my boxing skills, showing the focus, strength and most importantly, patience that makes a champion a champion.
“I fought in Riverside every week. You might not have seen me on TV, but the sparring partners, trainers and team Garcia fighters saw it. Day after day I did the work, and the results you saw last night show that my skills have never been stronger and faster.