ABNER MARES wants to avenge his defeat to Leo Santa Cruz. But first he must fight Andres Gutierrez on October 14. Santa Cruz fights Chris Avalos on the same show at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California.

“At first, I’m not going to lie, and most people know I felt upset. I felt a little irritated that I wasn’t getting that fight,” Mares said. “Because at first it was solid, but at the same time, things happen for a reason.

“But, it gives us that much time to get ready even more for the Leo Santa Cruz fight. But, again we’re not looking past Gutierrez, he’s a great fighter, he’s a hungry kid, I’m not that old and people make me sound old, but I’m not.

“But, I remember when I was that age, 26, and I got my opportunity for a world title. So, I can imagine how happy he is and really looking forward to this fight. But, again I’m no push over, I’m in my prime, I’m in my moment, I’m strong, I feel great.

“I already said I’ve been doing really, really good in spar sessions. I really look forward to just making a statement that we are here to stay.”

Abner Mares

Mares is eyeing other major fights. “Nothing’s for sure in boxing, to be honest. I’m just looking forward to getting in the ring. I got Gutierrez now. That’s the guy I’m fighting, that’s the guy I’m focused on. So, I’ve been saying, if it’s not Leo the next fight, even though they saying it is, it might be 90 percent, I want [Carl] Frampton too,” Abner said.

“And if not Frampton, I want Oscar Valdez, if it’s not Oscar Valdez, any world champion out there. So, we’re not just looking at Leo now because we’ve been through that.

“I just want any champion, but obviously there’s a key and the fighter to fight will be Leo after Gutierrez.”