The former three division world champion Abner Mares wants to fight for the WBC featherweight championship, which is in the firm southpaw grasp of Gary Russell (26-1, 15KOs).

Mares held the title before getting stopped by Jhonny Gonzalez in the first round of their 2013 bout. Russell knocked out Gonzalez earlier this year in four rounds to capture the belt.

Mares is back in the mix after his stock rose following an exciting all action seasoned and peppery thriller, against Leo Santa Cruz at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Mares lost a twelve round decision.

“The only thing that I can say for now is that in February I have a fight. I'm in discussions for an opponent. There are a lot of names being considered....but we would love a fight against Gary Russell, the WBC featherweight champion."

“I am already training, not [on a level as] if I was in training camp, but we are progressing nicely, step by step. I will fight at 126 pounds and then we will see if we will climb up to 130 pounds."

Abner, who has a record of 29-2-1 and 15 KO´s, says that despite the defeat to Santa Cruz, 2015 was a very good year.

“For me, it was not the result I expected. It was a great fight and I think that despite the defeat, this year was memorable. We had an evenly fought match that is considered as one of the very best of the year.”