LOS ANGELES – Abner Mares is getting ready to return to the ring following a four-plus year retirement when he takes on Miguel Flores on Sept. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Mares will be fighting as one of the featured attractions on the Andy Ruiz Jr. versus Luis Ortiz heavyweight tilt on FOX pay-per-view.
The three-division champion Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) has not fought since suffering a unanimous decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz in June 2018.
Mares was set to fight Gervonta Davis in Feb. 2019, but the bout ultimately was canceled after the Mexican fighter discovered he had a detached retina in his right eye.
Mares has since enjoyed a blossoming career as a boxing broadcaster for Showtime, but he still believes he has more fight left in him.
“It’s been a long wait. I’m thankful to everyone who still believed in me. I’m overwhelmed and really happy to be back and making this comeback,” Mares said at an introductory news conference, steps away from the arena he’s thrice headlined, and designated to return once again.
“I wanted to fight here back in my hometown of L.A. I’ve had memorable fights here and this is my house. I’m blessed to be fighting at Crypto.com Arena.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m 36 but I’m feeling like I’m 26. I’ve kept myself in the gym this whole time and I’m feeling very confident. I’m looking forward to a great comeback.”
Mares – a former world champion at 118, 122, and 126 and a 2004 Mexican Olympian – will be fighting for the first time at 130 pounds when he takes on Flores (25-4, 12 KOs).
“There are no easy fights and Miguel Flores is not a walk in the park. He gave Leo Santa Cruz hell [in 2019]. This isn’t an easy comeback. He’s there to take advantage of the name that I have, but I’m here to show him what the old timers do,” said Mares.
“I’m just trying to come back, get a fight in, and take it fight by fight. I’m just happy to give everyone a great fight. That’s what I do at the end of the day. This is an entertainment business and I’m here to entertain.”
Mares has certainly done his part by participating in crowd-thrilling fights throughout the course of his career.
His credentials include wins against Vic Darchinyan, Anselmo Moreno, Joseph Agbeko, Yonnhy Perez, Eric Morel, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jesus Cuellar.
Mares’ losses have to Santa Cruz twice in competitive fights, and once to Jhonny Gonzalez via stunning first-round knockout.
“Not too many people get this opportunity to step back into the ring. What really did it for me was watching Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios in person [in June 2021]. That made me really want to get back in the ring,” said Mares.
“I started sparring already and I’m feeling better and better. I see the progress and that motivates me and lets me know that I’m only going to get better. I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’m just going to give it my all and do what I’ve trained to do.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.