Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Abner Mares Cleared For Sparring, Aims For Early 2020 Return

Abner Mares will end 2019 without having entered a single fight, but will at least end the year on a high note.

The former three-division titlist has been given a clean bill of health and cleared to return to the ring, with plans for his next fight to take place in the first quarter of 2020.

“I’m coming back,” Mares (31-3-1, 15KOs) revealed during a special Sunday afternoon edition of Fox’s Inside PBC Boxing, on which he regularly serves as an expert analyst.

abner-mares (6)_3

The show was otherwise dedicated to preview the upcoming heavyweight title fight rematch between unbeaten Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40KOs) and top-rated contender Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26KOs; 2NCs), which airs live Nov. 23 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mares was motivated to offer the welcomed sidebar after watching an opening clip of Fox Sports’ National Football League (NFL) insider Jay Glazer participate in a sparring session last weekend at West Point in honor of Veterans Day.

“The doctor has given me clearance to return to sparring next month,” noted Mares. “I think I just found my sparring partner!”

On the more serious side, the 2004 Mexican Olympian—who turns 34 later this month—couldn’t be more thrilled with the news of returning to his first love, which is inside the ring as a prizefighter.

Mares hasn’t fought since a 12-round loss to Leo Santa Cruz in their featherweight title fight rematch last June. He was due to face now former two-time 130-pound titlist Gervonta Davis this past February, only to have to withdraw two weeks prior due to what was revealed to be a detached retina.

It was at least the second time in his career in which it has become an issue, this time sidelining the California-based featherweight for the entirety of 2019. He’s been able to maintain his sanity through his regular role as a Fox Sports analyst, even if not quite maintaining his fighting weight.

“Is that the weight class you’re looking to come back at,” quipped Fox Sports host Kate Abdo, poking fun at Mares’ thicker frame these days, though not quite the size of the comfortably-shaped Glazer. “Maybe come back as a welterweight?”

The plan will be for Mares to return to the ring as a featherweight—where he’s campaigned since a 9th round knockout of Daniel Ponce de Leon in May 2013 to become a three-division titlist—or junior lightweight, where he was to meet Davis in a bid to claim a fourth divisional strap. The time frame is pegged for late February or early March.

At what level, however, depends on whether calmer heads trump his fighting heart.

“Are you going to come back with a tune-up? Are you going to come back with a big fight,” inquired Abdo, though not without offering her own friendly and professional advice. “Smart, would be a tune-up.”

As much was noted—if not fully embraced—by the comeback kid.

“Smart would be a tune-up,” repeated Mares, though winding up for his own admission. “Knowing myself, I want to come back strong. I want the big guys… meaning the big names.”

If nothing else, it earned the instant respect of his fellow in-studio analyst.

“I ain’t mad at that,” agreed Shawn Porter, the former two-time welterweight titlist, no stranger to big fights himself.

Mares’ title run through three weight divisions boasted one of the toughest stretches of his time. Beginning with a 12-round draw versus Yonnhy Perez in their first fight—and also Mares’ first career title fight—in May 2010 came eight straight fights spanning 39 months all against former or current world champions. A win over Vic Darchinyan in Dec. 2010—at the start of the Showtime Bantamweight tournament—netted Mares the IBO bantamweight title, adding the IBF strap to his collection following a pair of 12-round wins over Joseph Agbeko.

Title wins over Eric Morel, Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce de Leon saw Mares emerge as a pound-for-pound entrant before his world came crashing down in a stunning 1st round knockout at the hands of two-division champ Jhonny Gonzalez in Aug. 2013 to end his featherweight title reign.

Just seven fights have followed in the six-plus years since, including a pair of hard fought losses to Santa Cruz. Wedged in between came a Dec. 2015 win over Jesus Cuellar to claim a secondary featherweight title.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by ShaneMosleySr on 11-18-2019

I bet he either fights Gary Russell or a third match with Leo Santa Cruz

Comment by tito_bandito on 11-18-2019

He should hang them up. It’s not worth risking his eye. He’s able to speak pretty well and has a good career. I’m not saying that I don’t think he can accomplish anything, but being able to see is one…

Comment by steeve steel on 11-18-2019

Who needs TWO eyes anyway?

Comment by Kannabis Kid on 11-18-2019

A whole discussion full of haters you don't become a 3 division champion being a bum he should've beat Perez, he beat Darchinyan should have been DQed against Agbeko I agree but he soundly beat him in the rematch then…

Comment by Boxing Hero on 11-18-2019

My Christmas gift would have been for Mares to retire. He really sucks.

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (11)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Jack Catterall Warns Jose Ramirez: Our Fight Will Happen - I Won't Be Denied! Hrgovic Would Fight Joshua Tomorrow if Deal Came, Says Promoter Giovani Santillan Has Bright Future Under Top Rank, Says Manager A Long Day's Journey Into 'Nights' – Bingeing Through HBO's Legendary Documentaries Tyson Fury Tried To FaceTime Joshua, Hearn in Recent Days Holyfield Only Wants To Face Fighters His Age - Lewis, Tyson, Bowe Andy Ruiz Celebrates One Year Anniversary of His Shocker Over Joshua George Floyd's Family Accepts Mayweather's Offer To Pay For His Funeral Frampton: If We Both Win, Pretty Sure Herring Fight Will Happen ESPN Announcers Initially Will Call Fights From Studio & Homes, Not Ringside Abraham Nova vs. Toka Kahn Clary Planned By Top Rank For June 25 Card Stevenson-Caraballo, Magdaleno-Vicente - Full Cards Announced Kerman Lejarraga Ring Return is Targeted For August MTK Fight Night Events To Resume in July, To Be Carried on ESPN+ British Board Fears Some Smaller Promoters Will Go Out of Business Hearn: If Wilder is Not Ready, Whyte Should Get Immediate Fury Title Shot! Dana White: Not Interested in Whyte-Ngannou, Not Thinking About Boxing Xander Zayas Draws Inspiration Through Friendship With Amanda Serrano Fury: If I Don't Get Joshua Fight After Wilder, I'll Give Dillian Whyte A Beating Jorge Linares: Ryan Garcia Has Talent, But He’s Not Ready For A Big Fight Now Hearn Aims To Resume 'Matchroom USA' Events in August Mike Tyson's Path Of Heavyweight Destruction Stands The Test Of Time Liam Paro Targets Jack Catterall Showdown, World Title Fight Jessie Vargas Reflects Back, Praises The Speed of Manny Pacquiao Errol Spence: No Tuneup - I Want a Top Guy in My Return! Boxing Without Boxing: Vassiliy Jirov vs. James Toney - 04/26/2003 Whyte Would Do Ngannou Two-Fight Deal: I'll Beat Him in Boxing and MMA! Spence on Next Three Fights - Garcia, Pacquiao, Then Crawford Hall of Famer Curtis Cokes, First Dallas Champion, Dies at Age 82 Whyte Shakes Head at Sulaiman's Position on Mike Tyson Comeback Carl Frampton Aims To Be Back End of July or Early August Jake Paul Under Heavy Fire Over Taping Content at Looting Site Haye: Usyk-Chisora Not Looking Likely For A While; Need Crowd For That Fight Tyson Fury Aims To Break Bank With Richest Deal In Boxing History Pascal: If Canelo Wants To Claim A Second Title At 175, I'm Right Here Joshua: I Got Beaten To A Pulp; But I Believe I’ll Go Down As This Generation’s Great Porter: I Guarantee A Rematch With Spence Would Be Much Better Fight Linares: Lomachenko Still Best At Lightweight; Don't Think Lopez Can Beat Him Golden Boy Prez: Our Intention Is To Return July 4, Fans Miss The Sport Boxing's Told You So Tales
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement