Abner Mares already has his New Year's resolutions set in stone — lose some weight, and get back into the ring for one last run at a world title before retiring.
Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs), a four-time world champion across three divisions who will turn 34 years old next month, is still recovering from surgery after suffering a detached retina in his right eye shortly before his fight against Gervonta Davis, which was subsequently cancelled in February.
“I’m just enjoying life right now before I re-focus on another world title run,” Mares told BoxingScene.com. “I want to retire with the world title in my hands. I want two or three more fights and call it quits. I think I’ve done what I had to do in this sport, which is to make a name for myself.
“I’ve been recovering well [with the eye]. It’s been slow, but great. I’m comfortable to coming back in December, but I’m going to take the rest of the year off and enjoy the holidays with the family. Why risk it?”
Mares plans to lose the weight he’s packed on while sitting on the sidelines, jokingly admitting that he’s currently tipping the scales anywhere between a welterweight or middleweight.
Once he’s ready to fight, he’ll be doing so at 130 pounds. Asked if he’d try to get in the ring with Davis once and for all, Mares said it would be a possibility.
“I think so. The only reason that fight got made was because I made a phone call to Al Haymon but unfortunately I got injured. Could it happened next year? Yes. I think it’s there up for grabs. I’m excited for it to finally happen because people think I faked the injury. There is no reason I would duck a fight, especially a big one.”
In addition to Davis, Mares also called out Gary Russell, Oscar Valdez and another rematch with Leo Santa Cruz before calling it quits.
The last time Mares was in the ring was last June when he suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Santa Cruz, his second to the fellow Mexican fighter in three years. Since then, he’s spent time away from the sport transitioning into a new career as an analyst for Fox’s “Inside PBC” show and as a Spanish analyst for Telemundo.
Once Mares returns to the ring, he wants to get his feet first with a respectable challenge before diving into the shark tank with big names like Davis.
“The smart thing [to do] is to take a tune-up fight. The fighter and warrior in me tells me to take the big fight right away,” said Mares. “But you have to be strategic sometimes and know when to do it. I haven’t fought in over a year, so I have to take a comfortable fight to get some rounds under my belt.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].