Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Mares requests likely rematch with Gonzalez



Three-division titlewinner Abner Mares has requested a rematch with Jhonny Gonzalez in the wake of the shocking first-round knockout loss that dethroned him as WBC featherweight titleholder last Saturday.

“Mares exercised his rematch option and wants to fight Gonzalez next,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. “We have informed Gonzalez’s promoter accordingly.”

Mares (26-1-1, 14 knockouts) first informed of his desire for a return bout with Gonzalez (55-8, 47 KOs), who has scored knockouts in 13 of his past 15 victories. 

“I had put that rematch clause in, so we’re going to exercise that. We had it intact. So Abner called me about it the other day,” said Frank Espinoza, Mares’ manager.

“Abner said that he wanted to exercise the option, and that he wanted to come right back. He expressed that he really wanted that rematch, so we’ve notified Richard, and he’s going to give us the first option to fight Gonzalez.”

Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza, is in search of “a date that makes sense.”

“Richard mentioned it to me briefly yesterday, and then, he mentioned it again today. He says that Abner called him up and told him that he wanted the rematch as soon as possible,” said Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.

“So, we said if that’s what Richard wants, and if that’s what Abner wants, then we’re in. Personally, I’m a big fan of Abner’s. He sort of home grown at Showtime and I’m happy that Abner wants it. We’ll start looking for a date that makes sense.”

A 27-year-old who entered the bout as THE RING’s No. 5-rated pound-for-pound fighter, Mares was floored twice by Gonzalez 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 last September that ended Gonzalez’s 12-fight winning streak which included 11 knockouts.

“I would like to say that Stephen Espinoza, as well as Richard, they came into my locker room after the fight and they showed their support. They told me that, ‘You’re my man, Abner, and you’re my fighter, and this doesn’t change anything’ What they told me is, ‘Whenever you’re ready.’ That’s all they said. ‘Whenever you’re ready’. So by me calling them over the next few days, I let them know that I’m ready. Now, they’re backing that up. So now, that’s great,” said Mares

“When I spoke to Richard Schaefer personally, he said, ‘Abner, if that’s what you want, then that’s what we’ll work on.’ Richard said that they would try to get it to happen this year, because on Showtime, they have a budget, but they’re going to try to put me in there among the fights that they have coming up. We put it there in the contract, so there’s an automatic rematch. It’s mandatory. Officially, they are looking for a date for the fight, so it’s all looking positive. They know that I want it, so, let’s do it.”



Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]