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Mares in, Rigo out?

A NONITO DONAIRE JR.-Abner Mares fight is fast shaping up after the Mexican World Boxing Council (WBC) super-bantamweight champion’s camp agreed to work with promoter Bob Arum.

Mares (25-0-1, with 13 knockouts) is handled by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, while Donaire is promoted by Arum’s Top Rank.

Frank Espinoza, Mares’s manager, said he believes de la Hoya also wants both 122-pound division champions to meet inside the ring.

Donaire (31-1, with 20 knockouts) holds the World Boxing Organization and The Ring versions of the 122-pound division title belts, and is also the reigning WBC Diamond super-bantamweight king.

“At this point, Golden Boy Promotions has given me reason to believe they would make the fight. I hope to meet with Bob Arum soon and convince him to get on board,” said Espinoza in an interview by BoxingScene.com.

The Los Angeles-based businessman added fans are clamoring for the fight to happen. “We need to get across the importance of this fight to the fans, the fighters and the industry,” he said.

“People are asking for this fight and the fighters are asking for this fight. It’s 2013, let’s give the fans and the fighters what they want. They want Mares versus Donaire and its being denied to them. Let’s change that.”

Espinoza said he wants to be instrumental in pushing for the fight. “It’s an incredibly opportunity for Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions to come together and make this [fight] a reality.”

He said Donaire’s camp should know better that Mares is a more accomplished professional fighter than World Boxing Association junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, with eight knockouts), who is also on the list of the Filipino Flash’s possible opponents.

“I hear there’s talk of a Guillermo Rigondeaux versus Donaire fight. Professionally it’s a backward step for Donaire. Abner is a far more accomplished fighter than Rigondeaux as a pro.”

He added that Mares is more marketable than the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba. “Mares and Nonito are made for each other. The Mexico-Philippines rivalry is hot so it’s very marketable. Both of these fighters would benefit financially like never before.”

“No promotional company should get in the way of these young men fulfilling their earning potential in the difficult profession they’ve chosen,” Espinoza said.

Espinoza also advised Donaire to really consider Mares as his first opponent in 2013 saying that a win over his ward could further boost his stock in the 122-pound division.

“Nonito knows that a win over Mares would be a lot meaningful to his legacy. No disrespect to Rigo, but the fight most fans want to see is Donaire-Mares. Rigo doesn’t have the following of Mexican fans like Abner does and that’s a huge marker which can never be ignored.”

(Jonathan Perez)

 

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