DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.—“I am pleased to see that the International Boxing Federation, the organization that sanctioned the world championship match between IBF champion Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, took such swift action in ordering an immediate rematch.
“They wasted no time in determining that Russell Mora, the referee assigned to Agbeko vs. Mares, was in violation of their rules by displaying “inappropriate conduct” for ignoring repeated low blows against my fighter, Joseph Agbeko.
“I commend IBF President Daryl Peoples and IBF Championship Chariman Lindsey Tucker for confirming what everyone who witnessed the bout already knew. Too often, the first inclination when human frailty is exposed is to sweep it under the rug as though it never happened. It is to their credit that Mr. Peoples and Mr. Tucker confirmed that when obvious mistakes are made, it’s best to recognize them and attempt to immediately right the wrongs.
“It was a triple-blow against boxing by hurting fighters, discrediting world championship boxing and the great state of Nevada, where so many of boxing’s most memorable bouts have been staged. This has caused an undeserved negative shadow over Nevada. There should be an investigation to clear any and all doubts as to what occurred in this fight. The people deserve to know more about whatever caused this man to do what he did.
“The honor that was established by exceptional past members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission like Dr. Elias Ghanem, Chuck Minker, Marc Ratner, Dr. James Nave, Luther Mack, Duke Durden, Sig Rogich and many others brought boxing in Nevada to towering heights by being committed to following the rules with honor and integrity. They established an impeccable reputation, and to see the house they built being tarnished brings me great sadness. Inaction in this instance would be unacceptable.
“I urge the state of Nevada and its leaders to step up in similar fashion as the IBF has done. After all, they have an additional obligation to protect those making wagers by insuring that fair play is paramount in their state.
“I look forward to giving two great young athletes, Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares, the fair playing field they deserve to display their wonderful boxing skills.”
International Boxing Federation/United States Boxing Association
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
899 Mountain Ave., Suite 2C ¡ Springfield, NJ 07081
Phone: 973-564-8046 ¡ Fax: 973-564-8751
August 16, 2011
Via email and USPS
Don King Productions
401 Fairway Drive
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
RE: Joseph Agbeko vs. Abner Mares – IBF Bantamweight Championship – Optional Defense
Dear Ms. Jamison:
IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker and I have reviewed the IBF Optional Bantamweight Championship bout that took place on August 13, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV.between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares.
Mr. Tucker and I observed several low blow fouls committed by Abner Mares. While the referee, Russell Mora, issued numerous warnings for low blows during the course of the bout, he neglected to deduct points for these fouls. With 1:03 left in round eleven, Joseph Agbeko was hit with a low blow foul that forced him to the canvas. Mr. Mora determined that the blow landed by Mares was legal and began to count indicating that a knockdown had occurred.
Based upon our review of the bout, it has been determined by the IBF that inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight.
In accordance with IBF/USBA Rule 3.D., the IBF is ordering a rematch between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares for the IBF Bantamweight title which must be held within the next 120 days or by December 14, 2011. Neither boxer can take another fight until the rematch is completed. Negotiations should begin immediately and be concluded by September 15, 2011. In the event that you have not negotiated this bout by September 15, 2011, the IBF will call for a purse bid to be held to determine who will promote the fight.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the IBF office.
Daryl J. Peoples, President
Cc: Lindsey Tucker
Linda Torres, Esq.