By Rich Mancuso
To Abner Mares a boxing title is not significant. Perhaps that explains why the bantamweight relinquished his IBF championship this week. This latest turn of events, in the more exciting and noted division, will enable Vusi Malinga, 20-2-1-12 K0’s of South Africa to fight for the vacant title against AJ Banal of the Philippines.
“Nowadays it really doesn’t matter,” said Mares about the significance of a title belt, especially in his division. “It just matters to make a good championship fight. You can be a champion and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to fight the mandatory.”
Mares was, no doubt referring to boxing politics. After he won his second fight over Joseph Agbeko in December, the IBF informed him about a mandatory defense against Malinga before March 3rd. From his home in Lakewood California, a suburb of Los Angeles, Mares decided to fight the boxing system. The title at this point had minimal value with a lack of time to prepare.
Yes, it is a champions...