Abner Mares will surrender his junior featherweight title and move up to the featherweight division after his dream fight with superstar Nonito Donaire fell through the cracks after negotiations (per ESPN).
Even though a record $3 million payday was offered to Donaire, the Filipino champ and his promoters, Top Rank, turned down the hefty sum.
This will continue the unfortunate trend in boxing, where top fighters in a division do not meet in the ring due to failed negotiations. Although not as big as a possible Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout, a Mares-Donaire fight is just as important.
Donaire (32-1, 20 KOs) and Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) have been two of the most exciting fighters over the past few years and seemed to be on a collision course to meet in the ring. Now with Mares moving up in weight, a Mares-Donaire bout is just a fantasy for now.
If the two fighters continue to win as most expect they will, it may take for Donaire to move up to the featherweight division along with successful negotiations to land the fight the boxing world was hoping to see sometime in 2013, despite Mares saying otherwise.
Mares told ESPN.com:
I want to say that I am still open to fighting at 122 to make the fight with Donaire. I know Top Rank said after his fight is done on April 13 that they are willing to negotiate. I hope that's the case. If it is, and they want to do the fight at 122, I am more than open to it. Or we can do it at 126. Either way.
Sure Mares may say that now, but once he becomes comfortable at 126 pounds , he may think again about moving back down in weight meeting Donaire at 122 and demand Donaire move up to 126 pounds to fight him at his new weight class.
This development could open a new set of excuses from both corners, something that plauged the Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations as well.
Fans can only hope that the Mares and Donaire camps learn from the immense letdown of Mayweather and Pacquiao never coming to terms to fight and do the right thing and give the boxing world what is sure to be an all-out brawl between Mares and Doniare sometime in the next couple of years