Abner Mares is well aware of the value his name carries in today’s boxing marketplace.
Even with a proposed comeback in the works, there will reach a point where he just can’t bump with everyone eager to get him in the ring.
“Looking from where I am at right now, I would say I have maybe 2-3 fights left in my career,” Mares (31-3-1, 15KOs) told BoxingScene.com. “It will depend on how I look in that first fight, that’s the one that will let me know where I am at in my career. But for what I want to accomplish in this comeback, I think it’s realistic to say 2-3 more fights and one of the fights for a shot to become a four-division world champion.”
Mares has been out of the ring for more than two years, having not fought since a competitive but clear decision defeat to Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19KOs) in their June 2018 rematch.
Hopes of a showdown with then-unbeaten 130-pound titlist Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22KOs) fell through just prior to their scheduled title fight last February when Mares—a 2004 Mexican Olympian and former three division titlist—suffered a detached retina. He has since fully healed from the injury and surgery which left him inactive throughout 2019, and is ready to resume a career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.
Known at his best for taking on a who’s who of the lower weight divisions, the 34-year old from Montebello, California is prepared to add to that reputation in order to fulfill his career-ending goal. A developing social media feud with unbeaten lightweight contender Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17KOs) aroused public interest—perhaps more so given the sport’s downtime during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—but such talks have seemingly died down.
It’s just as well, considering the bigger game he seeks.
“The one (fight) that sounded more of an attraction, not so much because of his name—I don’t think he’s that high profile of a name like Ryan Garcia—but Joseph Diaz is that one,” Mares insists of the current IBF 130-pound titlist. “The fact that he holds a world title, he is in his prime and is a great fighter. That fight will give me a lot more.
“I would take a lot more from that fight than from a Ryan Garcia. It’s a fight that interests me the most.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox