WBC super-bantamweight champion Abner Mares has decided to leave the 122lb division just two fights into his run after failing to secure a high-profile unification bout with WBO title holder Nonito Donaire.
The US-based Mexican had hoped to oppose Donaire in the late spring with both belts on the line, with promoters Golden Boy sending a very public $3million offer to the Filipino’s promoters Top Rank.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum didn’t take the bait though and Mares is now leaving the weight-class behind as the 27 year-old now aims to become a three-weight world title holder in 2013.
That leaves pound for pound number two Donaire to fight out a two-belt confrontation of his own with WBA king Guillermo Rigondeaux in one of the most sought after clashes around on April 13.
Donaire, 30, had a spectacular 2012, picking up the Boxing Writer’s Award for Fighter of the Year as he ploughed through four world-class opponents to dominate the bantamweight division and can now focus on the Cuban.
The failure of the fight to materialise leaves Mares to contemplate his next opponent, with Chris John, the current number one at featherweight and compatriot Daniel Ponce De Leon both mouth-watering fights in the offing.