Mares cleared to begin training after eye injury

Former three-division world titleholder Abner Mares got the good news he had hoped for Thursday, when his ophthalmologist cleared him to begin training again.

Mares was due to challenge junior lightweight world titleholder Gervonta Davis on Feb. 9 in a Showtime-televised main event in front of his home fans at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, with the hope of winning a world title in a fourth weight class. However, about two weeks before the fight, Mares withdrew -- at first citing an elbow injury but later admitting he had suffered a detached retina in his right eye after getting hit during a sparring session and was having surgery to repair it.

It was a potentially career-ending injury for Mares, who in 2008 had suffered the same injury in his left eye. He was out of the ring for 11 months but returned to fight at a high level and went on to win world titles at bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight.

Now Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs), 33, of Los Angeles, is hopeful for a similarly successful return to the ring and was celebrating after his visit to the doctor.

"I got some really good news. I got the green light to start training," Mares said in a video he posted to social media on Friday. "I got the green light to start doing my normal activities, meaning I can hit the bag, I can go run. I can do all the boxing training except one thing. I can't spar yet. No contact in the eye, but that's a big improvement.

"My eye is really good. As you can see, it's been a little bit past a month, almost two months since the surgery. It looks good. This is big news for me. I can't wait. Hopefully, soon I'll be back in the ring."

Davis went on to fight late replacement Hugo Ruiz, a former junior featherweight world titlist, and knocked him out in the first round.