By Edward Chaykovsky
Former three division champion Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14KOs) will return this coming Saturday night against Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16KOs) as part of the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be Mares' first since last August's first round knockout defeat to Jhonny Gonzalez.
Mares was initially planning to move up to 130-pounds in May, as part of the Mayweather-Maidana card, against WBC champion Takashi Miura. But then Mares changed his mind and decided to stay at 126-pounds.
Most of the top featherweights, like champions Nonito Donaire, Nicholas Walters, Evgeny Gradovich and Vasyl Lomachenko, are being promoted by Top Rank. Now that Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions are willing to work with each other, Mares hopes to face some of their fighters.
"Obviously, you've heard the news, my promoter, Golden Boy Promotions is looking to work with Top Rank in fights in the future and, look, they have great fighters, great champions, so I feel very comfortable at 126 right now. That's what I have in front of me right now and I have an opponent that I'm concentrating on him. But at the time [I considered a move to 130], at the time maybe I was thinking with my heart and not with the mind," Mares said.
"I want to go in for the fourth division, but sometimes when you think with the heart only, it can run into mistakes and it could cost you. It could have cost me a loss right there. So, right now, I'm making the weight very comfortable. I'm very happy at 126 and we're going to continue here."