Abner Mares suffered his first professional defeat this past weekend, falling to Jhonny Gonzalez via first round TKO in a bit of a shocker, and now the 27-year-old, three-division titlist will sit out the rest of this year, before making his return in 2014. Manager Frank Espinoza says that Mares wants to spend some time with his family, and that he is certain the fighter will come back and be a champion once again.
"I believe that you should never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. At the end of the day, Abner demonstrated to everyone the maturity and the tenacity to succeed in his career. It takes not just skills but also extreme dedication and commitment. Regardless of Saturday's outcome, champions are measured by the same criteria. I am fully confident that Abner will be a champion again."
Mares (26-1-1, 14 KO) has kept one of the toughest schedules in boxing since 2010, winning titles at 118, 122, and 126 pounds, and rising up the ranks of the pound-for-pound lists. He remains without question a top fighter, just one who was slammed with a gorgeous left hook from a guy who can throw a damn good left hook. He accepted his defeat with class and grace in the moment.
Mares does have a rematch clause, and if Gonzalez keeps the belt, that would probably be exercised next year. BoxingScene reports that Golden Boy has three controlling options on Gonzalez, even though they aren't officially his promoter. Both fighters have already said they'd like to have a rematch if it comes to that, so it seems unlikely there will be any problem getting that done if and when the time comes.