IF NONITO Donaire Jr. is aching to fight Abner Mares, the undefeated Mexican seems to want it even more.
Mares, the 27-year-old holder of the World Boxing Council’s version of 122-pound title, told Mexican writer Rene Umanzor that he will move up to 126 lb in case his fight against Donaire falls through due to conflicts involving the two fighters’ respective promotional and television outfits.
“In my division, there is nothing but opponents who are just coming up, and I don’t want to be a step for them,” Mares was quoted as saying in a boxingscene.com article.
“I want to fight the best. And right now (I’m thinking of going up to featherweight) to face a champion.”
Mares is reportedly set to fight reigning International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz. But just like Donaire, he said his camp is aching for a possible big-money battle with Donaire.
With fans from Mexico and Philippines looking for yet another rivalry, a Donaire-Mares fight is expected to command big paychecks for the protagonists and even snag a pay-per-view deal usually reserved only for boxers in the lightweight class and heavier.
If Mares climbs to 126 lb, Donaire will be left with just a few choices for his next foe, including World Boxing Association titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, the prolific Cuban Olympic champion who has yet to prove his box-office draw.
Like Donaire, Rigondeaux fights under Top Rank and HBO, while Mares is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime.