by Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer was very impressed with Abner Mares' ninth round TKO victory over Daniel Ponce De Leon on Saturday night. Mares' victory stole the show on the Mayweather-Guerrero Showtime Pay-Per-View undercard. With the win Mares (26-0, 14KOs) captured the WBC featherweight title - his third divisional belt.
A few months ago, Schaefer was trying to make a fight between Mares and then WBO champion Nonito Donaire. He offered a $3 million dollar package to Donaire's promoter, Top Rank. The two promotional rivals were unable to reach an agreement and Donaire (31-2, 20KOs) would instead enter a unification with WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. The Cuban boxer won a twelve round unanimous decision.
Schaefer is still willing to make that fight but indicates Donaire would get "less money" than previously offered.
But money is not the problem, says Schaefer. The golden promoter believes Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is not willing to make the fight because he knows Mares would be the likely victor. Schaefer points out that Mares dropped Ponce De Leon, twice - and did something that Adrien Broner, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jhonny Gonzalez were unable to do - stop Ponce.
"I feel that Mares is the best in his weight class. I don't know what we're going to do next, but who wouldn't want to see him against Leo Santa Cruz. That was a pound-for-pound performance [by Mares], and now you know why the Donaire fight didn't happen - because Bob is not that dumb. He's been doing it for 50 years. He knows it, and [Top Rank matchmaker Bruce] Trampler knew it too - Donaire would have gotten his ass handed to him," Schaefer said.