Blockbuster Card Set for NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions Debut
Former three-division world champion Abner Mares (28-1-1, 15 KOs) returns to the ring to face 2008 Mexican Olympian Arturo Santos Reyes (18-4, 5 KOs) on Saturday, March 7 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in the primetime debut of the Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC and NBCSN.
The fight is part of the blockbuster card promoted by Goossen Promotions featuring Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero and Adrien Broner vs. John Molina, Jr. that will air live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).
The Mares-Reyes bout will be televised live on Saturday, March 7, on the NBC show (8:30 - 11 p.m. ET) or on the NBCSN telecast (11 p.m. ET). Marv Albert will call the fights in primetime on NBC alongside analyst "Sugar" Ray Leonard, the six-time world champion and 1976 Olympic gold medalist. Al Michaels will host.
"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to fight in Las Vegas on March 7," said Mares. "This is a fantastic card that is great for me and great for the sport of boxing. I look forward to putting on a show for the fans and winning impressively."
"It’s a big honor to get this fight against Abner Mares and to be fighting at MGM Grand in Las Vegas," said Reyes. "Mares is a great fighter. I know what he brings to the table. But, I’m going to give it my all on March 7 and shock the boxing world."
The 29-year-old Mares looks to stay at the top of the featherweight division when he steps into the ring on March 7. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and fighting out of Downey, Calif., Mares first tasted world championship gold in 2011 when he beat Joseph Agbeko to win the bantamweight world title. He continued his rise up the pound-for-pound list with wins over Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce De Leon to win world titles at super bantamweight and featherweight, respectively. He suffered his only defeat in a shocking loss to Jhonny Gonzalez but has rebounded nicely with back-to-back wins and now looks to return to the top of the sport.
An accomplished amateur from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Reyes makes his U.S. debut on March 7 with a chance to immediately make a name for himself stateside. The 29-year-old was a silver medalist at the Junior World Championships in 2004, and went on to represent his country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Reyes turned pro in 2009 and racked up victories in his first five outings. Fighting almost exclusively in Mexico, he defeated Khabir Suleymanov in 2012 for the super bantamweight title. Most recently, Reyes went on the road and lost to Simpiwe Vetyeka in his native South Africa for the vacant international featherweight title. He returns to the ring looking to make an immediate impact in his U.S. debut.