Reigning World Boxing Council junior featherweight champion Abner Mares announced that he will vacate his title and move up to the featherweight division after failing to secure a fight against World Boxing Organization champion Nonito Donaire.
Mares wanted to fight in the 122-pound division for the last time, but the plan did not materialize. The 27-year-old Mexican champion reasoned out that there is no reason for him to stay at the junior featherweight division and admitted that he is already having trouble making the weight limit.
Mares said: “Moving up to featherweight was already in our plans even before this Donaire situation. We wanted to fight Donaire and we did whatever was possible in our power to make that fight. That is the fight that I wanted. That is the fight the fans wanted. It didn’t happen.”
Golden Boy Promotions, which handles the junior featherweight titlist, submitted a $3-million offer to Donaire’s camp and Top Rank Promotions, but promoter Bob Arum rejected the offer. Arum said that airing the fight in Showtime instead of HBO is unacceptable and fighting in June is impossible for Donaire because his wife, Rachel, is expected to give birth in June as well.
The undefeated Mexican said that his camp did everything possible to arrange the fight, saying that it was a good offer and that Donaire’s camp could have thrown a counteroffer, which they did not do.
Instead of fighting Mares, Top Rank is expected to announce that the 2012 Fighter of the Year will face World Boxing Association champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in April.
On the other hand, Mares will be forced to defend his title against mandatory challenger Victor Terrazas, but GBP knows that the fight is not marketable, which led to the decision of moving up to the featherweight division.
Frank Espinosa, Mares’ manager, said: “We were looking to fight Donaire but that fight didn’t develop so we are moving on. Abner is giving up his title and we’ll start entertaining the 126-pound division. We look forward to him going up to challenge the fighters in the division.”