Abner Mares could be facing Anselmo Moreno on October 13, live on Showtime. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Abner Mares will likely defend his super bantamweight title belt against top bantamweight Anselmo Moreno on October 13, as Showtime and Golden Boy look to counter-program one of the most highly-anticipated HBO cards of the year.
That night on HBO, top super bantawmeights Nonito Donaire and Toshiaki Nishioka will do battle in the main event, and there's a mouth-watering all-action co-feature planned as well, pitting former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios against fellow slugger Mike Alvarado.
But Golden Boy looks to be presenting a solid alternative, whether you agree with this increasing practice of intentionally splitting the already small boxing audience or not. Mares vs Moreno is a fantastic fight on paper, and the card would also feature Richard Abril vs Sharif Bogere, plus top featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr.
The next day on CBS, Golden Boy will present some of this year's Olympians in a one-hour showcase special.
Mares (24-0-1, 13 KO) and Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KO) were both last in action on April 21, winning easily on Showtime. Mares scored a one-sided decision over Eric Morel, while Moreno blasted David De La Mora over eight rounds en route to a stoppage win.
Abril (17-3-1, 8 KO) is going to be moving away from a fight with Gavin Rees, which was slated for this fall. It seems more like a GBP power play than anything, as Rees is ranked No. 3 by the WBA, while Bogere (23-0, 15 KO) is ranked No. 4. The fight would, in theory, be for the vacant WBA lightweight title, which Abril really should have won on April 14, when he was robbed in Vegas against Brandon Rios. Rees vs Abril would have taken place in the UK, without U.S. TV. Abril is looking to make his career go here, and a fight on Showtime against Bogere is probably preferable for him.
Russell (20-0, 12 KO) would hopefully be taking at least a small step up in competition, but there's no rumored opponent for him at the moment.
It's also worth noting that both boxing cards will also be running at the same time as UFC 153 on pay-per-view.