WBC super bantamweight titlist Abner Mares has decided to vacate his title and move up to featherweight rather than face mandatory challenger Victor Terrazas, saying that he was staying at 122 only to try and land a fight with Nonito Donaire. Since that's not happening, he's seeking a new challenge at 126 pounds.
"I accomplished my dreams of winning titles at 118 and 122 pounds," said Mares in a statement to BoxingScene.com. "I'm ready to fight as a featherweight and to achieve one of my goals of being a world champion in three different divisions."
Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO) is taking a real risk here, I think, especially if he targets one of the true top fighters in the featherweight division. Though he did win a world title at 122, he only fought twice at the weight, against Eric Morel and Anselmo Moreno. Morel wasn't considered a serious contender at 122 -- and was never really impressive over 112 pounds in his career -- and Moreno hadn't been competing at the weight, either, though that was a matchup that everyone liked and was certainly credible.
A fight with Terrazas would have been worthwhile, but there were likely concerns about making that happen, too. A purse bid was scheduled for Friday, and while Golden Boy and Zanfer don't have the sort of contentious relationship that Golden Boy and Top Rank have, Zanfer also works pretty much exclusively with Top Rank in the United States.
Is this a good move by Mares? Is it an unnecessary risk for now?