By Jake Donovan
One way or another, Hugo 'El Increible' Cazares is eyeing a potential ring return in March - and with either potential path leading towards a future title fight.
The former two-division champ - who turns 36 in late March - is currently in talks for two promising leads, both of which would assure the winner a future crack at a 122 lb. title. Depending on how things shake out at the negotiating table, Cazares could wind up facing either countryman Andres 'Jaguarcito' Gutierrez or Carl Frampton, the unbeaten all-action star from Northern Ireland.
"We're looking into the best opportunity for Hugo right now," said Oswaldo Kuchle of Promociones del Pueblo, Cazares' promoter who acknowledged talks with both camps but electing not to go into specifics. "He's in a good position, it's just a matter of securing the fight that makes the most sense."
Cazarez (40-7-2, 27KO), Frampton and Gutierrez are the three highest rated contenders in the WBC's 122 lb. rankings, which makes sense than an eliminator would soon be ordered.
Gutierrez (28-0-1, 22KO) is promoted by Canelo Promotions. Such a fight could land either in Mexico on any given date alloted by Televisa - with whom Promociones del Pueblo enjoys a strong relationship - or in Las Vegas, potentially on the undercard of Alvarez' upcoming March 8 showdown with Alfredo ' El Perro' Angulo.
Such a placement would carry a fitting storyline, as the winner would be scouted live by reigning titlist Leo Santa Cruz. The unbeaten two-division champ defends his belt on the undercard versus Cristian Mijares, in a bout that will air as the chief support on the aforementioned pay-per-view telecast.
A showdown with Frampton (17-0, 12KO) would be a mouthwatering matchup anywhehre in the world, fitting considering the variety of locations associated with the potential pairing. One rumor floating around has the suggested matchup targeted for March 29, in either Mexico, the United Kingdom or along a casino strip in Budapest, Hungary, of all places.
Cazares has won five straight since his 115 lb. title reign came to an end in August 2011. His most ring appearance came last December, scoring a close but clear decision win over countryman and fellow former titlist Julio Cesar Miranda.
Prior to his stay as a 115 lb. titlist, Cazares reigned as the lineal junior flyweight king. The southpaw enjoyed such honors for more than two years before suffering a narrow points loss to the great Ivan Calderon in August 2007 on the road in Puerto Rico. A return visit one year later saw him once again fall short, leading to his steady climb up the scales.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox