LOS ANGELES — If Thursday’s press convention downtown on the Conga Room is any indication, Abner Mares received’t wrestle so as to add 4 kilos when he squares off towards Gervonta Davis. He’s carrying at minimal a four-pound chip on his shoulder.

Mares seems so as to add his title to a brief checklist of Mexican-born fighters to win titles in 4 completely different divisions when he meets Davis for a 130-pound conflict Feb. 9 in Carson, California on Showtime. He would be a part of Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Jorge Arce as the one to do it, seemingly punching his ticket to Canastota, New York as a first-ballot Corridor of Famer. Mares didn’t simply decide a man with a belt — he picked who many contemplate the man at 130 kilos in Davis. This would be the longest-odds underdog Mares has ever been.

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When questions opened as much as the throng of reporters who attended the press convention, one requested Davis for a prediction on what spherical he would knock Mares out in. That basically irritated Mares, as evidenced by his response when requested by Sporting Information if a win over Davis can be the largest of his profession.

“Oh, undoubtedly, as a result of it is a combat the place lots of people are doubting me, just like the gentleman that simply requested that one dumb query,” Mares stated. “It is a combat the place I’m going to show individuals incorrect and shut the doubters [up].”

On the conclusion of the press convention, Mares opened up about why he was bothered by somebody suggesting Davis knocking him out is mainly a formality.

“That basically bothered me, I didn’t know who that was,” Mares stated. “You come to a press convention to get issues from the fighters, not simply hey what spherical are you gonna knock him out in. That’s simply disrespectful, I noticed it as disrespectful to me that I’d be right here in the identical room. With this one, they’re simply — interval — they’re counting me out due to his energy, due to his youth, due to his power. They’re counting me out.”

He added: “And does it trouble me? Sure, it bothers me. You understand how I used to be gonna begin the press convention? I used to be gonna begin it like this — ‘Whats up, my title is Abner Mares, ex-Olympian, ex-bantamweight, tremendous bantamweight, featherweight champion.’ why? To remind individuals of what I’ve completed. Folks I believe they forgot the kind of adversity and types I’ve been up towards they usually suppose that is one thing new, which it’s not. It’s simply one other combat for me.”

In what’s turning into much less and fewer of an anomaly as 2018 turns to 2019, a combat that the followers have been clamoring for will come to fruition. Mares is appropriate that persons are forgetting his accolades. He overcame the chances in successful Showtime’s bantamweight match, and even adopted up a controversial win over Joseph Agbeko within the finals with a transparent win of their rematch. He beat long-avoided champion Anselmo Moreno when he moved up and confronted the very best No. 1 featherweight on this planet in Leo Santa Cruz, arising brief, however in aggressive bouts.

It’s what obtained below Mares’s pores and skin Thursday. He has by no means turned down a tricky problem — this isn’t new for the 33-year-old fighter.

“We’re not simply going into this combat blind. I am not silly,” Mares stated. “I am taking this combat as a result of I see one thing on this man. It is a robust combat, little doubt. All fights are robust. He is in for an excellent combat. On the finish of the day, you guys need to cease worrying about my weight and if I am too small. You guys are going to get an excellent combat and that is all that issues. Sit again, look fairly and benefit from the combat.”

Mares additionally has coach Robert Garcia in his nook. Garcia will lead a nook in 5 world title bouts over the course of 49 days, starting with Josesito Lopez towards Keith Thurman on Jan. 26 on FOX in Brooklyn. Garcia received’t nook that combat as a result of it’s his daughter’s quinceañera.

Mares isn’t practically as massive of an underdog as Lopez, however will nonetheless seemingly be a two- or three-to-one underdog after they met Feb. 9. Garcia will then drive three-plus hours to Fresno for Jose Ramirez’s 140-pound title protection the subsequent evening on ESPN. The coach will work IBF 105-pound champ Carlos Licona’s nook Feb. 16 on the Leo Santa Cruz-Miguel Flores undercard. All of it culminates in Mikey Garcia’s daring problem of Errol Spence on Mar. 16 on FOX pay-per-view.

For 99.9 p.c of boxing trainers, this may be manner an excessive amount of. However this isn’t Garcia’s first rodeo with this type of scheduling. There’s a purpose Jose Ramirez stated Freddie Roach all the time appeared too busy to work with him and Ramirez opted to go to Garcia and it has labored.

“I like doing this,” Garcia instructed Sporting Information. “I like these challenges. I like having 5 title fights back-to-back inside 49 days. It simply motivates me. I’ve an excellent workforce additionally. I’ve an exquisite household that helps me and is with me 100 p.c. So all that makes it simpler.”

Mares isn’t the one one with a chip on his shoulder. His coach feels the identical manner — queue Roy Jones Jr.’s “Y’all Should Have Forgot.”

“This motivates me. Particularly with three that no person provides us an opportunity. We have been in that scenario with Brandon [Rios] when he confronted [Lamont] Peterson, no person gave us an opportunity,” Garcia stated. “He beat the s— out of him. Maidana did the identical factor [against Broner]. Abner has been by way of it with Cuellar. Nonetheless, now, individuals nonetheless don’t give us a shot. It doesn’t trouble me, however it does make you go, ‘Rattling, when the f— are individuals going to imagine in my work?’”

Garcia has been with Mares for plenty of fights now and it’s clear the 2 are very keen on one another. Mares doesn’t sound anxious that his coach can be unfold too skinny between now and this crucial combat of his.

“We’ll have already got 50 p.c of the combat received simply by having an excellent nook, an excellent workforce and an excellent plan,” Mares stated. “The opposite 50 p.c is as much as the fighter to carry out. One factor is having the sport plan in your thoughts, however it’s one other factor to go on the market and carry out that recreation plan.”

Garcia added: “We’ve been working for a couple of years already and Abner’s a listener. That was in all probability the very first thing that was in my thoughts once I began working with him. He’s a world champion that has achieved so much, however he nonetheless drives to my health club day by day. He listens, he trains on the time I inform him to coach. He’s a listener. He desires to get higher. Everyone else [I’m working with], they’re all comfortable. I’m going to be coaching with Josesito, however I’m gonna be with Abner day by day till his combat. Similar factor with Josesito, identical factor with Jose Ramirez.”

Garcia is mainly working 10-hour days on the health club. On Thursday, he knew he had the press convention for Mares and Davis and went to the health club beforehand to work with Jose Ramirez. A typical day has Garcia working with Mares at 10 a.m. Then it’s Ramirez at midday, Lopez at 2 p.m., and Mikey at four p.m. His youthful, much less skilled fighters discover sparring inside the group of prime guys Garcia works with and get their work in throughout that point.

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The criticism of many prime trainers have been their propensity for including to their steady, whereas nonetheless attempting to take care of the identical hours that they had with only one prime man. However Garcia isn’t that man. It’s why Garcia is up as a nominee for Coach of the 12 months in quite a few publications.

A win for Mares can be undoubtedly the signature victory of his profession. Many are evaluating Davis to a younger Mayweather and it’s no shock he has Floyd Jr. and Leonard Ellerbe serving to information his profession alongside Al Haymon. It could imply an entire lot greater than if Mares tried cherry-picking a title off one of many different titleholders on the weight. It could definitely be a feather within the cap for Garcia, too.

In a sport the place there’s fewer and fewer guys who care extra about legacy than the rest, Abner Mares is a breath of contemporary air. His voice stands out amongst the blokes who say, ‘I let my workforce resolve the subsequent plan of action’ by saying he wished Davis and no person else. It’s what’s going to go away a long-lasting impression amongst boxing followers lengthy after he decides to hold them up.

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