LOS ANGELES – Abner Mares’ near four-year retirement will end on Sept. 4 when he takes on Miguel Flores at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The bout will be one of the featured attractions for a FOX pay-per-view headlined by heavyweights Andy Ruiz Jr. and Luis Ortiz. 

The 36-year-old Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) is a former world champion at 118, 122, and 126 pounds as well as a 2004 Mexican Olympian.

Mares – who’s moonlighted as a broadcaster in recent years – will be making his junior lightweight debut when he faces off against Flores (25-4, 12 KOs).

No matter the result, or how his career resumes, Mares believes he’s already punched his ticket to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. 

“C'mon now. Of course. Of course I'm a Hall of Famer,” Mares told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “I'm not being cocky, I'm just stating facts. If anyone else sees it differently, they don't know sh!t about boxing. I'm happy and comfortable with what I’ve accomplished in my life as a fighter.

“I already accomplished my fulfillment which was more than I expected. I'm fortunate. I already capitalized and did what I had to do. It's just about having fun now.”

Mares certainly made a mark in a career that kicked off in 2005. He beat credible opposition like Vic Darchinyan, Anselmo Moreno, Joseph Agbeko, Yonnhy Perez, Eric Morel, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jesus Cuellar.

His defeats came to the hands of Leo Santa Cruz twice in close fights, as well as to Jhonny Gonzalez in a shocking first-round knockout. 

In recent years, Mares was dealt a detached retina in his right eye that even derailed an announced fight with Gervonta Davis in 2019. 

Mares explained that his purpose for fighting has changed, which is allowing him to tap into newfound focus and motivation.

If all goes well, he wants to position himself for a trilogy with Santa Cruz, and a tilt with “Tank” Davis.

“I've been blessed. I've been able to do so much outside of the ring. I've done good and enough to be comfortable, but getting the opportunity and clearance to come back and fight again, I'd be stupid not to come back. I'm 36. I feel great,” said Mares. 

“There are mixed emotions. You have people talking sh!t like 'why are you coming back. You shouldn't. You're old.’ Blah blah blah. If I listened to critics I wouldn't be doing sh!t for my life. I don't listen to anyone. I'm doing this for me. I'm coming back. Guess what? I'm going to look phenomenal.” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.