By: Sean Cross
Three-time champion Abner Mares returned to the ring at the age of 36 on Sunday at LA’s Crypto.com Center. The opponent in the scheduled 10-round junior lightweight bout was 25-4 Miguel Flores. Mares, who hadn’t fought in four years, looked great early on, dominating his man in the opening rounds and showing a sharp set of skills.
But Flores started to pick up steam in the middle rounds, which no doubt helped him on the scorecards. Although he still looks good, age and ring rust seem to have taken their toll on Mares. Indeed, going into the later rounds, Mares kept his distance from his opponent as much as possible, throwing and landing well when the opportunity presented itself. Flores was clearly the more aggressive of the two.
In the tenth and final round, the exhausted Mares staggered several times. If it had been a twelve-round fight, he wouldn’t have been able to stay on his feet. But this was lap ten, and Mares built an early lead. It will be interesting to see who the judges give it to.
In the end, the fight went to both as the fight was mostly a draw.