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Abner Mares eyeing early 2020 return after injury

Mares withdrew from a February matchup with Gervonta Davis due to a detached retina

Leo Santa Cruz v Abner Mares Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Three-division champion Abner Mares, who suffered a detached retina this past January ahead of a fight with Gervonta Davis, “has been cleared to begin sparring” ahead of a planned return in “late February or early March.” The fight would be his first since an unsuccessful rematch against Leo Santa Cruz in June of last year.

Mares (31-3-1, 15 KO) has been rather inactive in recent years, fighting just once each in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He’d previously suffered a detached retina in his left eye over a decade ago, but faced the prospect of retirement after suffering the same in his right. Luckily, he’s avoided the worst possible outcome.

The question now is what he has left in the tank after 14 years as a pro. He’s naturally undersized for 126 and has been on the decline since at least his first fight with Santa Cruz. There’s one possible weak link among the 126-pound titlists, that being Can Xu, but that really seems to be his only feasible road back to a title. Do we see him go for it or cash out with a big-money fight.

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