“His brains still scrambled, Abner Mares stood before Showtime cameras and was asked to comment on the first defeat of his professional career, a stunning first-round TKO loss to 11-1 underdog Jhonny Gonzalez. What he offered, beyond congratulations to his friend and former sparring partner, the same man who had minutes earlier dumped him on the canvas at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, was a maxim that could have been taken out of Letters from a Stoic: “As you learn how to win you have to learn how to lose, too.” This is not entirely true: matchmaking can insulate a fighter—Gary Russell, Jr., for example—from ever having to learn the ins and outs of coming up short. But a fighter like Mares, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, had to know this moment was coming, if not against Gonzalez then against another opponent with aspirations rivalling Mares’ own. Facing the caliber of opponent Mares has since fighting Yohnny Perez to a draw in May, 2010, means inevitably taking a loss: at some point, the other guy will be the better man.”
Read CUTTING STRINGS: Jhonny Gonzalez TKO1 Abner Mares on The Cruelest Sport.