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Mares still willing if Donaire, Rigo are game

Abner Mares won't rule out a move back to 122 pounds if it means making the best fight available. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY -- With his shiny green championship belt in hand, sunglasses perched on his nose and an ear-to-ear smile on his face, junior featherweight titlist Abner Mares arrived in this city on Monday fresh off his May 4 defeat of Daniel Ponce De Leon -- and for the first time as a three-division champ.

A native of Guadalajara who has been adopted by Mexico City, Mares spoke to ESPNDeportes.com about his future, the possibility of challenging for another belt and whether he might return to his former weight class to settle old scores.

"I want to offer good fights," he said. "Where there are good fights, I'll be there -- either at super featherweight, or even at featherweight. ... I'm even willing to go down again to super bantamweight to face Nonito [Donaire] or Guillermo Rigondeaux. Where I'm offered a good fight, I'll be there."

Mares was reminded that Rigondeaux outclassed Donaire as no one had since Donaire's second professional fight (his only other defeat), and that the Cuban is a difficult matchup and a largely non-marketable fighter.

"I am aware that styles make fights," Mares said. "Nonito tried at times to figure out Guillermo's style, but Nonito lacked the fire that I think I have. I have the fire, I know that I can beat Ringondeaux, and that's why I’m challenging him."

Mares' immediate plans' are a vacation in Acapulco and Cancun with his family. But looking further ahead, he didn't close the door on a potential fight with Donaire, who had been expected to continue campaigning as a junior featherweight after his defeat. Mares, for one, believes that Donaire might reconsider.

"I think Nonito is more interested in the fight than before," Mares said. "Now I'm the champion, and he's not. He lost, and people know that I was asking for that fight. He also said he wanted to fight me, but you never saw that interest from his promoters."