By Miguel Rivera

Former three division world champion Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15KOs) is focused on landing another world title opportunity in 2016.

After winning a ten round unanimous decision over Arturo Reyes in March, he fought a twelve round war with California rival Leo Santa Cruz on August 29th in Carson, California. Santa Cruz won a majority decision to capture the vacant WBA featherweight title.

Mares expects a return date in mid-February. He wants a rematch with Santa Cruz. If that doesn't happen, he would be very satisfied with getting a shot with WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.

"We are about to return to the ring, the date would be mid-February," said Mares to Carlos Sulbaran.

"The promoter is in talks with [Santa Cruz's] team. It is something that I want and the fans want to see it, because it was a great battle in which both sides offered their best. However, everything depends on the negotiations. We also want to face WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. We are also in talks with him to see if a fight is possible."

"I'm looking for a championship fight, but nothing is confirmed. That will not stop my return, because it is a fact that I'm going to return to the ring in February, so we already started preparing for any possible fight that becomes concrete."