It appears that on Feb. 15 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Showtime, three-division titlewinner Abner Mares could get his requested rematch with Jhonny Gonzalez, against whom he suffered a shocking first-round knockout loss that dethroned him as WBC featherweight titleholder in August.
Gonzalez (55-8, 47 knockouts) had appeared to be balking at the rematch clause of their first bout, but according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Gonzalez has agreed to the return bout with Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs).
“Gonzalez and his promoter accepted our offer. We’ve got an e-mail from them, and Mares is on board as well,” said Schaefer. “Abner came to see me with [manager] Frank Espinoza. We have the date reserved for Feb. 15 from The Staples Center.”
Schaefer said he is also working on having the Mares card be supported by WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz, who will first have to get beyond his first defense on Dec. 14 against Cesar Seda. Another co-feature consideration is heavyweight Chris Arreola, who is coming off a first-round stoppage of Seth Mitchell in September.
“I have discussed it with Showtime, so we’ll be doing a tripleheader,” said Schaefer. “We’ll have to see how Leo Santa Cruz looks in a week, so he is a possibility, and maybe another possibility is Chris Arreola. That would be a big night for Staples Center and for Los Angles to have Leo, Chris and Abner on one card.”
A 27-year-old who entered the Gonzalez bout as THE RING’s No. 5-rated pound-for-pound fighter, Mares was floored twice by Mexican veteran during the first defense of the belt he won in his 126-pound debut, a ninth-round knockout of Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Ponce de Leon was the last man to defeat Gonzalez in an eighth-round technical decision in September of 2012, that ended Gonzalez’s 12-fight winning streak which included 11 knockouts.
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotion
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]