WBC junior featherweight titleholder Abner Mares suffered a rib injury on Sunday that led to his turning down a proposed clash with rising bantamweight Christian Esquival of Mexico that was intended for Aug. 25 in his native Guadalajara, Mexico, Mares’ manager, Frank Espinoza, informed RingTV.com on Tuesday evening.
A resident of Montebello, Calif., who is coming off a unanimous decision over former beltholder Eric Morel in April, Mares (24-0-1, 13 knockouts) had been slated to face Esquival (25-3, 18 KOs), who is coming off a unanimous decision over Jesus Ruiz in April.
“Aug. 25 is out. Abner bruised his ribs when he was doing his drills on Sunday morning. So, he just felt sore and bruised and he’s going to lay off for a while,” said Espinoza.
“He went to do his drills with his training and conditioning coach on Sunday. It could have been an old, nagging injury, but we want to be safe and we want to make sure that we’re taking care of Abner. It’s not worth it if he’s not 100 percent.”
If there is a break to be taken by a fighter, Mares is one boxer who may deserve it.
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Mares has fought 60 consecutive title fight rounds, having twice beaten ex-beltholder Joseph Agbeko, earned a decision over former titleholder Vic Darchinyan and battled to a draw with then-beltholder Yonnhy Perez.
Mares also has expressed the desire to face WBO counterpart Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) should he get beyond a July 7 unification fight with IBF beltholder Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs), although Donaire is promoted by rival Top Rank Inc. There is also WBA beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs).
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com