“What happened in Vegas?” was a text I received from Big Steve who was at the Internet Cafe on Louise Ave in Glendale and could not watch the fight.
Abner Mares (22-0-1,13KO’S) has just dethroned King Agbeko and won a Showtime bantamweight tournament in a brilliant, instant fight of the year battle at the Hard Rock Hotel in front of boisterous crowd of approximately 2000 that was on their feet throughout the fight. Judges scored the fight 113-113 and 115-111 twice for Mares thus awarding him a majority decision win and a much coveted IBF championship crown. Team Agbeko cried fowl because of continuous low blows but they might have been forced by the former champion who was pulling down the head of his opponent. ” I felt like I had two opponents tonight in the ring, Abner Mares and the referee,” said dejected Agbeko (28-3,22KO’S) immediately after the fight:” The referee took my title away from me tonight, not Abner Mares. I demand an immediate rematch and the referee should be suspended.”
Youth was served tonight as the challenger thrown and landed more punches and was more effective. According to Showtime statistics Abner Mares has thrown 732 punches and landed 318 while Agbeko has thrown 662 punches and landed 231.“I am very happy,” exclaimed Mares:” I am a new IBF world champion. Clemente was telling me to stop going to the body because of the warnings, but I didn’t listen. I knew I was hurting him, so I kept doing it. It was a tough fight, but I think I dominated it.”
Weeks in a wake of the long anticipated showdown most experts agreed on one thing that it would be a tough and a very competitive fight.” This is going to be a great fight,” exclaimed Golden Boy’s matchmaker Erick Gomez just minutes before the action began. “Spoke to Abner Mares and he is ready for war on Showtime,” said promoter Oscar De La Hoya via twitter. It was all of that and much, much more; a dramatic, violent high skill high intensity battle that featured two supremely conditioned athletes staging a war.
Mares pressed the action from the onset behind a stiff jab; he attacked like the man possessed. Left hook electrified the crowd, and then a right hand landed. Mares went to the body early and often and finished a dominant round with a right hand that deposited Agbeko on the canvas. The champion did better in the second round but he was still backing up against Mares who was pressing forward. Mares won the third round as well landing a huge left hook that electrified the crowd and a couple of straight right hands that affected the champion. Twenty five years old challenger seemed stronger man in the ring early.
Agbeko dialed in his long jab in the fourth which enabled him to land a huge right that stunned Mares momentarily. However the young challenger recovered and continued to press the action. Mares did a lot of work to the body in the fifth stanza that featured furious back and forth exchanges. Mares got cut in the sixth stanza from an accidental head, but the young challenger was not discouraged; he continued to force the action and unloaded heavy artillery to culminate the sixth. Like some kind of a switch was turned, the momentum of the fight chnged: it was Agbeko who was moving forward from the seventh round on. Mares countered effectively and the round ended with a fierce exchange. Both warriors landed huge shots in the eighth stanza, but it was Agbeko who was moving forward now and pressing the action. Mares picked his spots and unloaded vicious combinations.
Action heated up in the ninth. Referee Russell Mora warned both fighters Mares for hitting low and Agbeko for pulling down. Another accidental head butt bothered both combatants as they continued to battle on even terms. Dynamic combat continued in the tenth Abner landed a body shot that went south of the border, but referee Russell Mora told Agbeko to stop pulling his opponents head back .no points were deducted. Eleventh round was pure dramatic, sustained violence throughout. Mares landed a body shot low, Agbeko went down grimacing from pain, but referee administered the count which prompted the champion to jump up and fight back furiously. Jospeh King Kong Agbeko finished the final round strong, like he was not ready to relinquish his crown, but it might have been a little too late.
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