Abner Mares, who recently vacated his IBF bantamweight title to move up to 122 pounds, will return to the ring on April 21 in Mexico City, with Showtime televising. Mares will be facing Eric Morel, a fellow Golden Boy fighter, but after that is looking to target the biggest names in the division, according to Sal Rodriguez.
"We've seen all of the fighters at super bantamweight and I'm excited because there are no bad fighters. Personally, I would like a fight against Nonito Donaire, because they say he's the best, but there are others on the list Fernando Montiel, Victor Terrazas, Jorge Arce, Wilfredo Vazquez, Guillermo Rigondeaux and others like my opponent, Eric Morel."
Mares and Morel will apparently both be going up to 122 for their April fight, which could be held at the new stadium in the city, which is set to be opened in the boxing world by Juan Manuel Marquez on April 14.
Mares' manager Frankie Espinoza also touches on this, but the reality is that Mares is going to have a tough time finding big fights at 122 pounds unless he leaves Golden Boy, because four of the names he mentioned (Donaire, Arce, Vazquez, and Rigondeaux) are tied to Top Rank, and top dog Toshiaki Nishioka's promoter works with Top Rank in the United States.
Others have mentioned this on the site, but Mares' deal with Golden Boy is up shortly. They're incredibly proud of Mares, who is the first homegrown Golden Boy fighter to win a major title, and I've got to believe they'll do everything in their power to keep him, but if he can't get the fights he wants, business will come first, and he may move on.
I'm not saying Golden Boy deserves that, because they've done a good job with Mares, who has earned his status with some really good wins, it's just the unfortunate reality of this particular situation. The biggest fights for Mares are against Top Rank guys. It'll be interesting to see where his career takes him in the near future.