Three-division titlist Abner Mares has announced on his Twitter account that he has signed with powerful advisor Al Haymon, a development that Haymon’s chief associate, Sam Watson, confirmed with RingTV.com on Friday.
“Yeah, we’ve signed him,” said Watson of Mares, who wrote that he was “happy and excited to announce that I’m officially part of Team Al Haymon.”
“I’m excited as a fighter. This is the second stage of my career and that’s the way that I’m looking at it. I’m excited to be a part of Al Haymon’s management family,” said Mares, 28, in an Friday interview with RingTV.com. “Because he’s known for doing great things for his fighters and for looking after his fighters. So I’m excited about the future.”
In aligning with Haymon, Mares is now joining the likes of RING and WBC champion Adonis Stevenson, IBF junior lightweight titleholder Rances Barthelemy, IBF 140-pound titleholder Lamont Peterson, WBO bantamweight titleholder Tomoki Kameda and lightweight Anthony Peterson.
The recipient of the 2013 Cus D’Amato “Manager Of The Year” award by the Boxing Writers Association of America, Haymon’s stable includes Floyd Mayweather Jr., Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse and Erislandy Lara among many others.
“This is still so fresh now, so I’m not going to get into detail about all of what we discussed about my future. But we came to great terms. Obviously, for me to sign, there was definitely something that I really liked about Al Haymon,” said Mares.
“It’s the way that he made it sound, and the way that he said that he was going to handle my career. I’m excited to be part of Team Al Haymon and really looking forward to the future.”
Mares (27-1-1, 14 knockouts) informed RingTV.com during an earlier interview that his contract with manager Frank Espinoza had ended, but that he still has a valid contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
Espinoza said that he and Mares, having been headed toward arbitration, have “reached a settlement agreement,” adding, “I wish him all the best in his future.”
“Everything happens for a reason and everything is working out. Again, I’m excited to announce that I’m officially a part of Al Haymon and that I’m still with Golden Boy Promotions,” said Mares.
“Al Haymon is my manager and I want to just state emphatically that I am still with Golden Boy Promotions. I know that a lot of people don’t understand that there is a difference between Al Haymon being my advisor and Golden Boy still being my signed promoter.”
Mares is coming off last month’s unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Oquendo that marked his first fight under trainer Virgil Hunter after having left longtime trainer Clemente Medina.
Mares had previously been in action in August 2013, when he lost his WBC featherweight title in a shocking first round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez. He later suffered a rib injury that scuttled his tentative February rematch with Gonzalez. Mares was similarly injured in June 2012, when rib damage led to the cancelation of a clash with bantamweight Christian Esquivel.
Mares was THE RING’s number five-rated pound-for-pound fighter entering the bout with Gonzalez. He was floored twice by the Mexican veteran during the first defense of the belt he won in his 126-pound debut, a ninth round stoppage of Daniel Ponce de Leon.
FONFARA ALSO SIGNS WITH HAYMON, WILL FIGHT ON NOV. 1
Light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara also signed with Haymon on Thursday and is slated to return to action on Nov. 1 in Chicago, Fonfara’s promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing informed RingTV.com on Friday.
Fonfara (25-3, 15 KOs), 26, was last in action in May in a unanimous decision loss to Stevenson. Fonfara floored Stevenson in the ninth.
Margules said he is also plans to place a bout between RING number eight-rated bantamweight Kameda and Alejandro Hernandez on the Nov. 1 card.
Although Margules does not have a contract with Kameda, he won a purse bid to promote the bout, which would be a defense of Kameda’s WBO belt.
Kameda was last in action on July 12, celebrating his 23rd birthday with a seventh round knockout of Pungluang Sor Singyu.
Hernandez, 28, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Daniel Rosas in June.
PROMOTER: STEVENSON WON’T RETURN UNTIL ‘OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER’
Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) is unlikely to return to action until “October or November” at a site to be determined, his promoter, Yvon Michel informed RingTV.com on Friday. Stevenson, 36, had been in line to appear on Sept. 27, potentially at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
“Showtime felt that there was not enough time to promote and to do the proper marketing for a fight that would take place on Sept. 27,” said Michel. “They asked us if we could find another date in October or November, so we are working on that right now. We have to match an available date on Showtime and a venue and there is a lot that is possible, so we don’t have a specific place yet. It’s too premature to talk about opponents.”
FULL UNDERCARD OF SHAWN PORTER-KELL BROOK ANNOUNCED
Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will join undefeated English prospects Luke Campbell and Callum Smith on a deep undercard supporting Saturday’s Shawn Porter-Kell Brook main event at the StubHub Center on Showtime from Carson, Calif., Golden Boy announced on Friday.
In the main event, Porter will put his IBF belt on the line in a clash of unbeatens against Brook, with support from a rematch between WBC super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell, who fought to a draw in December, and WBC lightweight titleholder Omar Figueroa against Daniel Estrada in a Showtime-televised tripleheader.
On Showtime Extreme, prior to the tripleheader broadcast, heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder will face journeyman Jason Gavern, and former titleholder Jorge Linares will meet lightweight rival Ira Terry.
Others on the card include Breazeale against Billy Zumbrun, welterweight Haskell Rhodes against John Nater and former amateur star Jason Quigley in a middleweight bout against Fernando Najera.
In still other bouts, lightweight Campbell and super middleweight Smith will meet Steve Trumble and Abraham Hernandez respectively.
Also in action will be welterweight Alan Sanchez against Jose Luis Ramirez Jr. and welterweight Fabian Maidana, brother of Marcos Maidana, opposite Phillip Soriano.
ROD SALKA MAY RETURN IN NOVEMBER
Rod Salka said he plans to drop in weight to 130 or 135 pounds for a Nov. 14 return to the ring in the wake of his second round knockout loss to RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in their 142-pound bout.
“I thought that I was going to be tough. I was frustrated because I went down but I felt mentally clear even after the first two knockdowns. I was just agitated and pissed off. First round, he caught me with a left hook and I still felt good. That didn’t phase me. But that last shot, he caught me with a body shot and that didn’t bother me,” said Salka, who is promoted by Mike Tyson.
“But I got a little too cocky a little too quickly. I sat right in front of him and he shot that right hand to the body. I tried to counter him and got me with that last hook. I never saw it. That was stupid. There was no reason for me to even attempt to do that that early in the fight. I should have boxed a few more rounds and maybe then the pressure is on him and then, maybe I could start to capitalize.”
Prior to facing Garcia, Salka dropped previously unbeaten Alexei Collado in the third round en route to an upset unanimous decision victory.
“I started in the game late. I was like 19, 20 years old and even then, it wasn’t a priority. I just really have started to do the work,” said Salka. “Now I learn so much every fight. This last fight, I should have moved around more but that was stupid. It was dumb.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. FOUNDATION TO HOLD BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY SATURDAY
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, former junior middleweight titleholder Ishe Smith, super middleweight contender J’Leon Love and lightweight contender Mickey Bey will be among those on hand during a Saturday charity event at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Super middleweights Badou Jack and Ronald Gavril as well as middleweight Chris Pearson will participate in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation’s “Back To School Givaway 2014” event, featuring school supply giveaways for children, raffled prizes, refreshments and a live D.J.
According to a release, children will be given free haircuts and a free laptop will be given away to one of the students who brings his local library card for a chance to win it.