WBA Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares on his next fight, training, and more
Abner Mares is the current WBA Featherweight World Champion and a four-division World Boxing champion and Olympian. In the ring, he is known to be a tenacious fighter who employs strategy, execution, calculated power and a wicked inside punch. Furthermore, Mares is the second youngest fighter to be a three-time World Champion, carrying 15 knockouts within his 31 wins.
Mares was born in Mexico and raised in both Mexico and the United States. He began training professionally at 12 years of age. The champion considers Southern California his home base and is where he and Team Mares are regularly seen giving back to the local community via mentoring and boxing-related training programs.
In advance of his June 9th fight against Leo Santa Cruz -- in which Mares defends his WBA World Championship at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles -- I spoke with Abner Mares on behalf of Sportskeeda. Mares can be followed on Instagram via @AbnerMares.
When you are training for a fight, around how many hours a day are you usually training?
Abner Mares: Fight camp really starts eight weeks out and that’s when we start doing twice a day workouts -- one workout with my trainers that lasts about three hours and then one additional cardio session at the end of the day.
I work out six days a week. In those days I mix the cardio up, I run -- typically 6 miles a day --and also have a curve treadmill at the house that I can do at night. I do strength and conditioning workouts three times a week and those are usually 60 minutes in the workout, some cardio and then post-workout stretching. I take Sundays off to be with family and relax.
How does that compare to when you are usually between fights?
Abner Mares: I’m always working out, it’s part of my life. I believe that when you stay active you stay healthy, it contributes to your happiness and helps you get through stressful moments in life easier. For me, I like to look good so exercise just keeps me feeling and looking good.
I try to do an hour of cardio every day and weights two days a week when I’m not in camp. That includes exercise I do with my family, like walking to the beach, playing in the park, bike riding, hiking. We try to mix it up as fitness is just a part of my life and my family’s.
Do you change up your diet when in peak training mode?
Abner Mares: I eat healthy. I stay away from sugar, eat clean, whole foods, nothing processed. We keep my meal plan balanced -- protein, carbs, vitamins, lots of water and eating post and pre-workout.
I keep somewhat the same diet when I’m not in training camp but am not as strict. I eat a lot of fish, lean meats, lots of green vegetables. I love salmon, rice, pasta, food that fuels my body. I can't stress the importance of water enough. I always have water with me -- it’s key to stay hydrated.
Is there a career accomplishment that you are proudest of?
Abner Mares: Besides being a father of two amazing young girls and the husband of a stunning, successful woman, it’s winning four world titles and then winning obviously my fifth world title on June 9.
Aside from your upcoming fight, what else are you working on? Anything you can talk about?
Abner Mares: I’m working on an Instagram series, Mares Mindset, that you can watch on my channel: @abnermares. It shows the road to this fight -- how I train, have fun, just the overall body, mind and soul mindset I take into each camp. I hope it inspires people to follow along and create a fitness regimen for themselves.
I’m hoping to hear from fans that are training with me and when I weigh in, June 8th. I can hear how they achieved or started to achieve their goals alongside me.
I’m also managing a young Olympian, Lindolfo Delgado, who is an undefeated boxer -- 4-0 with 4 knockouts. He started his professional career after the Rio games, he was on Team Mexico.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
Abner Mares: I spend time with my family -- my wife Nathalie and daughters Emily and Amber. So a lot of movies, activities and fun. We live in Southern California so there’s always something to do with the girls like hiking, going out to eat as a family, music events, the beach, Dodger games and the girls like to shop as do I. (laughs)
Sunday is my day off for family, so it’s spending time with them as well as family. Both Nathalie and I have family here in Southern California so we’re always connected and doing something.
Is there something you wish more people knew about Abner Mares?
Abner Mares: Besides my love for banda, chocolate cake and comedy? Well, it’s that fitness isn’t just my profession, it’s my lifestyle -- and my family’s. Fans ask me a lot if I just stop training after fights. I believe in staying healthy in body, mind and soul, so while the focus is on this fight and training camp, my exercise and diet regimen is pretty consistent all year and throughout my life.
I like to look good, I like to feel good, and I hope that my fans find some inspiration in my journey and my story to become a champion in their own lives. Whether I’m on vacation, with the family or at home, we’re active, enjoying the outdoors, eating great food that’s good for us and satisfying, and exploring the world.
Finally, Abner, any last words for the kids?
Abner Mares: Dream big, you can do anything you set your mind to. The champion is you.