One of the coolest walkout fashion statements in all of boxing is the haunting half-skull bandana Abner Mares dons each time he heads to the ring. But the bandana carries much deeper meaning beyond just an intimidating look.
After defeating Jonathan Arias in his 17th professional bout in June 2008, Mares suffered a serious eye injury during training camp.
A torn retina brought on a risky surgical procedure, clouding his future just as he was entering his prime.
“They told me I couldn’t fight anymore, that I was out for a year,” Mares said. “I went back to the doctor after a year and they said it’s a miracle.
“I wanted to return different and I felt people had forgotten about me, so I wanted to come back and show that I was dead, and now I was coming back.”
Mares returned to defeat Jonathan Perez in May 2009, and will fight on March 7 for the 14th time since suffering that injury, making his Premier Boxing Champions debut in Las Vegas against Arturo Santos Reyes.
Since that 2009 return, the application of the bandana is now a staple in his final preparations for each fight.
It symbolizes a transformation, if you will.
“I’m transforming from a sweet, caring guy, which I am outside of the ring, into this ferocious killer who is ready for war.”