By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, Vice President and head matchmaker at Golden Boy Promotions, told BoxingScene.com - that there is no doubt that Abner Mares sustained a rib injury that forced him to withdraw from a February 15th rematch with WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez.
Mares visited Dr. Daniel Maldonado on January 10, who issued his report to Golden Boy [copy found below], and the former three division world champion was advised to rest and stay away from taking any contact to the affected area.
They previously met last August at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Gonzalez (55-8-47KOs) scored one of the biggest upsets of the year when he dropped Mares (26-1-1, 14KOs) twice in the first round for a stoppage victory.
Mares then exercised his contractual option for an immediate rematch and the previously mentioned February date was set.
Gonzalez and his promoter, Oswaldo Kuchle, are very upset with the postponement and questioned the validity of Mares' injury.
To accommodate Gonzalez's desire to return in the near future, Gomez offered a fight with unbeaten Gary Russell Jr.
"We told him we were not interested [in Russell]. We were not allowed to have Jhonny make a defense against a different challenger in December. We were forced to go directly against Mares [in a rematch]. We were pressed and accepted February 15 because we didn't want to get into legal issues. Then we're told that Mares can't fight, but there has no medical examination. We would have thought that a physician would tell us when he would be ready, but now we're told he may not be ready to fight until May or June," Kuchle said in an earlier article on BoxingScene.com.
Gomez would like to reschedule the rematch as soon as possible, but there are multiple factors that are beyond his control.
"I can't just pick a date and then reschedule the fight. First I have to go to [Golden Boy CEO] Richard [Schaefer] and then he has to go to [Showtime Sports head] Stephen Espinoza and ask him what dates are available. Then we have to see what venues are available. We don't have an exact date on when Abner can return, so we did offer Jhonny a fight with Gary Russell and told his promoter that Showtime would be interested in that fight. They turned down Russell and told me they want to fight in Mexico," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.
Golden Boy has three options on Gonzalez, and the boxer won't be able to face an interim-opponent without Golden Boy's consent.