28-year-old former three division world champion Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KO’s) will temporarily be putting the brakes on his career and staying put at featherweight following his 1st round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez from last year in August.
Mares had intended on moving up to super featherweight to challenge WBC champion Takashi Miura to try and win a 4th division world title, but Mares now has decided to stay put at featherweight to go after the big names in the division, such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Evgeny Gradovich, Nicholas Walters, Nonito Donaire, and a rematch against Gonzalez.
“I want to fight in a fourth division [super featherweight], but when you think with your heart and not your head, you can bring mistakes that are costly,” Mares said to superluche. “Gaining weight could cost me a defeat [against WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miuri]. Right now I’m doing the weight comfortably. I’m happy at 126 pounds and will stay there for the moment.”
It definitely wouldn’t make sense for Mares to move up to the super featherweight division to go after a paper title when he still hasn’t proven himself to be the best fighter at featherweight. He was knocked out by Gonzalez, and he still needs to prove that he can beat him in a rematch. Besides that, the featherweight division is stacked with potential big fights for Mares. He’ll make a lot more potentially fighting the likes of Donaire and Lomachenko than he would against a guy like Miuri at super featherweight.
Mares would be wasting his time in fighting Takashi Miuri, because he’s not considered to be the best fighter in the super featherweight division. If Mares really wanted to get attention he would take on – or try to take on – WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia or WBA champion Takashi Uchiyama. Those are easily the best two fighters in the division. All Mares would be doing in fighting Miuri is collecting a title off of one of the beatable champions instead of one of the best.
Mares will be fighting next Saturday night against Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KO’s) in a 10 round tune-up fight on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara pay-per-view card on Showtime from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Mares gets through that fight in flying colors then he’ll likely look to challenge one of the featherweight champions later on in 2014.
After the way that Mares was knocked out by Gonzalez, he would actually be better off moving back down to super bantamweight to compete against the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton, because he left that division without having proven that he was the best fighter at that weight.