Abner Mares will face Eric Morel on April 21. Showtime will televise the fight. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Lem Satterfield has more on the Abner Mares situation at RingTV.com, and it appears that a move up to 122 pounds could be delayed despite the fact that Mares has vacated his IBF bantamweight belt, and his manager says they're moving up to super bantamweight.
Mares will indeed fight on April 21 in Mexico. Showtime will televise Mares vs Eric Morel.
"Yes. Mares has vacated the title," said [Richard] Schaefer. "We will do Mares vs. Morel in a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico showdown on April 21 on Showtime."
Golden Boy Promotions' matchmaker and Vice President, Eric Gomez, said the deal for Mares-Morel is "close" to being done, and that the fight will take place "most likely in Mexico City."
Mares (23-0-1, 13 KO) does still hold the WBC silver belt at 118 pounds, and there's been no news on that front. So this may be more a situation where they just had no interest in facing mandatory challenger Vusi Malinga and prefer to keep things in-house.
Morel (46-2, 23 KO) is a veteran fringe contender at this point. He's won 11 straight fights, but by far the most notable of those was a 2010 win over Gerry Penalosa, who is well past his best days, and the scoring was pretty controversial anyway, with many feeling Penalosa won the fight.
At 36, Morel has been under Golden Boy contract for a while and just waiting for a big fight. They can call it Mexico vs Puerto Rico all they want, but Morel lives in Wisconsin and doesn't exactly have a large following, and there's generally no demand to see him fight. A lot of that stems from the fact that Morel did time for second degree sexual assault of a drunken 15-year-old girl a few years back. He's not the most marketable guy out there.