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Boxing | International

Relentless Mares eyes Donaire

Abner Mares has set his sights on Nonito Donaire after beating Anselmo Moreno in Los Angeles at the weekend.

The Mexican, who retained his WBC super-bantamweight title, said after his points victory over the Panamanian challenger, "I want to fight Donaire. He’s the only guy to fight. We want to fight the best."

Donaire, known as the Filipino Flash, is scheduled to defend his WBO super-bantamweight title against Mexico's Jorge Arce in Houston on December 15.

A fight between the undefeated Mares and Donaire could be one of the highlights of 2013 if Donaire gets by Arce.

Mares kept WBA bantamweight champion Moreno on the back foot by attacking relentlessly. He knocked Moreno down in the fifth round – the first time Moreno had been on the canvas in his career.

The scores were 116-110 on two cards and 120-106. Mares, a former bantamweight champion, was making the first defence of the belt he took from Eric Morel in El Paso, Texas, in April.

Moreno, whose record fell to 33-2-1; 12, said he thought the fight was closer than the scores indicated.

But Mares said he was not surprised. "I felt my pressure, my aggression, was getting the best of him. He was just backing up. The only time he was taking advantage and taking control of the fight was when I was waiting too long."

Mares, who improved to 25-0 with one draw and 13 knockouts, said his strategy was to keep the technically skilled Moreno from finding his rhythm, “otherwise he'll pick you apart".


Nathan Cleverly, who beat Shawn Hawk on the same bill, said he had enjoyed his US debut.

"I enjoyed the atmosphere," the unbeaten Welshman said. "He was a tough opponent but eventually I broke him down. I'm really looking forward to coming back to the US and fighting here again."

He left himself open to a few solid shots but explained, "I like to take risks sometimes. So I get caught but this is boxing. It's a combat sport."

Earlier, Cleverly had mentioned WBA champion Beibut Shumenov, IBF champion Tavoris Cloud and US veteran Bernard Hopkins as possible future opponents.

The Briton, who now stands at 25-0 with 12 knockouts, dominated from the opening bell and sent Hawk to the canvas twice in the seventh round and again in the eighth before referee Tony Crebs called a halt one minute and 53 seconds into the round.

Hawk, who stepped in as challenger at just five days' notice, was out-classed and fell to 23-3 with one drawn.

On the undercard, Mexico's Leo Santa Cruz retained his IBF bantamweight title with an impressive ninth-round stoppage of compatriot Victor Zaleta.

Santa Cruz, making the second defence of the title he won with a unanimous decision from South African Vusi Malinga on June 2, improved to 22-0-1 with 13 knockouts. Zaleta fell to 20-3-1.


REUTERS reports that Sergio Martinez will defend his WBC middleweight title against unbeaten Briton Martin Murray in Argentina on April 17, according to media reports.

The venue for the bout will be the Monumental stadium, home of Martinez's favourite soccer team River Plate, or Luna Park, both in Buenos Aires, or the Estadio Unico in La Plata, the DyN news agency reported at the weekend.

Martinez won the title when he beat Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on points in Las Vegas in September.

The 37-year-old Martinez, whose record stands at 50-2-2, is recovering from fractures to his left hand and said last month he would need surgery on his right knee.

Murray, 30, has won 24 fights, ten by knockout, and drawn one. He is scheduled to fight Venezuelan Jorge Navarro for the interim WBA title in Manchester


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