By Salvador Rodriguez

Former three division world champion Abner Mares (27-1-1, 14KOs) is very open to facing Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16KOs), the WBC super bantamweight king. Their mutual promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions is interested in matching them against each other. Both fighters are advised by manager Al Haymon. If Golden Boy offers him the Santa Cruz fight, Mares is ready to go.

Mares, now with trainer Virgil Hunter, is looking to return to the ring in November or December and then wants a big fight in the new year.

"I think the fight with Santa Cruz is very good. If this is done for next year, I am more than willing. It can be done at the Staples Center, where [the fans] root for both of us. I would love to fight with Jhonny Gonzalez, with Jesus Cuellar or Nonito Donaire now that Top Rank and Golden Boy are going to work together, but first I want to win the fight in November or December," Mares said.