By Rick Reeno
Last week, former three division world champion Abner Mares (27-1-1, 14KOs) announced, officially, that he signed a contract with influential adviser/manager Al Haymon. Mares recently parted ways with respect manager Frank Espinoza.
One of Haymon's many clients, WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15KOs), has been chasing a fight with Mares for nearly two years.
Golden Boy Promotions was slowly building the fight, as was Showtime, but not everything works out as planned.
The fight took a big hit last August when Mares was knocked out in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez.
Santa Cruz views Mares' decision to ink with Haymon as a positive sign; believing a potential fight between the two of them will now be easier to make.
But he feels the fight would be bigger if Mares, who fights a division above him, wins a world title. Santa Cruz plans to move up to 126-pounds next year.
"I think it probably would be much easier [to make]. He's another guy that I would fight whenever [he wants]. When I wanted to fight him, he didn't want to. He said he didn't want to take a step back. I think right now, if he gets a belt then we'll fight him for that belt," Santa Cruz told BoxingScene.com.