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Abner Mares vs Daniel Ponce De Leon set for April 20 on Showtime

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Daniel Ponce De Leon will make his first defense of the WBC featherweight title on April 20, facing former bantamweight and super bantamweight titlist Abner Mares. Can Mares win a title in another weight class?

Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

Abner Mares is getting his wish, as the former 118- and 122-pound titlist will move up to featherweight and immediately challenge WBC titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon on April 20 on Showtime, live from the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Richard Schaefer had this to say:

"It's a great match up, stylistically, as well, and it's from the perfect venue. If you remember when we did Israel Vazquez against Rafael Marquez, we did it from the Home Depot Center, and it was an amazing fight. So this fight reminds me of that one."

It likely won't be Vazquez-Marquez -- few fights are -- but it's damn good on paper.

Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO) last fought in November, beating Anselmo Moreno in a competitive, foul-filled bout, while Ponce De Leon (44-4, 35 KO) has been inactive since lifting the belt from Jhonny Gonzalez last September. Ponce De Leon, 32, was supposed to be headlining on Showtime this Saturday, but his fight was canceled when Jayson Velez pulled out.

That opened the door for Mares, 27, who recently vacated his super bantamweight title and hoped to get a quick crack at the featherweight belt. Mares-Ponce De Leon is a much more notable fight, and bigger for their mutual promoter, Golden Boy, and for Showtime. Simply put, it's a much better fight than the Velez bout was or could be, and while it's a shame Velez kind of gets bumped, I'm personally willing to chalk it up to necessity.

Who do you think wins this one? Mares is unproven at 126, and while I respect his win over Moreno greatly, he didn't really establish himself big-time at 122 either. But he may well match up very well stylistically with the tough Ponce De Leon. Who takes it?