By Jake Donovan
Abner Mares was so close to scratching off another item from his bucket list.
Last year saw one major goal realized when Mares won his first major title, scoring a majority decision over Joseph Agbeko in their Aug. ’11 bantamweight title fight. The win also crowned Mares as champion of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament, but came with enough controversy to where a rematch was warranted.
Ever the competitor, Mares (23-0-1, 13KO) had no problem setting the record straight. He did just that, soundly outpointing Agbeko in their rematch four months later.
With all unfinished business settled, Mares focused on another goal – bringing a major title fight to his native Mexico. Those plans were supposed to come to fruition for this weekend’s bout against Eric Morel. Apparently wasn’t yet meant to be.
One major hurdle was cleared when Mares – who can no longer make the bantamweight limit - was given approval to compete for a vacant 122 lb. title, even though Saturday’s showdown with Morel comes at a catchweight of 120 lb.
However, technology proved to be the biggest obstacle. Showtime, which presents this weekend’s card live from El Paso, TX, was unable to secure HD transmission in Mexico. Instead, Mares is forced to settle for the next best thing, which is a fight within a stone’s throw of the border.
“I was really looking forward to Mexico,” admits the California-based Mares, who proudly served on the2004 Mexico Olympic boxing squad. “I’ve never fought there as a pro. Things happen for a reason. I’m happy with the way it turned out, though. The boxing scene in El Paso is outrageous. I have family in Juarez and also in El Paso. Wherever it is, I’ll be happy.”
The future is partially determined by what occurs on Saturday night, but Mares refuses to let go of his dream of one day honoring his heritage to the fullest extent.
“I would love to fight in Mexico, any part of it. Just being close to the border will be good enough for now. I look forward to giving great shows in Mexico one day.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]