Abner Mares moving to featherweight, interested in Rigondeaux fight
By Chris Williams: WBC super bantamweight champion Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO’s) has decided to move up to featherweight to go after a third division world title, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Mares was trying to get a unification bout with WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, but his promoter at Top Rank Bob Arum turned down a $3 million offer for the fight.
Rather than hang around at super bantamweight and be forced to defend his title against his World Boxing Council 122 lb. mandatory challenger Victor Terrazaz in a fight that would have made Mares very little money, he’s decided to move up to 126 to look to get some bigger fights.
Mares would like to face WBC featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon for his title this year, but De Leon will have to get past the dangerous Jayson Velez in March for Mares to have any chance of fighting De Leon.
Mares is also still interested in facing Donaire later on in the near after Donaire takes care of his April 13th fight. Donaire won’t be available to fight until after the summer, however, because he plans on being with his wife Rachel during her pregnancy.
Mares was surprised that Arum never gave a counter offer after rejecting the $3 million offer from Golden Boy. Mares told Rafael “It was a very good offer. They could have thrown a counter offer but they never did. That says a lot.”
It just looks like Arum had another fight that he wanted for Donaire to take instead against possibly one of his Top Rank stable fighters, WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
It’s possible that Arum will be interested in matching Donaire with Mares later on in 2013, but it’s still going to be a tough fight to put together because Mares and Donaire fight on different television networks, and they fight for rival promotional companies.
Mares has the size to capture a world title at featherweight, but if his mind is set on winning the WBC featherweight title, he may have to beat Jayson Velez to get that title because I expect him to beat De Leon in March. Mares vs. Velez would be a good fight, but it’s going to be a really tough one for Mares because Velez can really punch.
If Donaire doesn’t fight Rigondeaux in April, then Mares says he wants Rigondeaux. Whether Arum lets Mares get a shot at Rigondeaux is unknown. I kind of doubt it. I think Rigondeaux would beat Mares, but I question whether Arum would have enough confidence in Rigondeaux to allow him to fight Mares.