By: William Holmes
Abner Mares (21-0-1) takes on Joseph Agbeko (28-2) in the finals of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament final from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. This bout will help determine who is one of the top contenders in the bantamweight division along with Nonito Donaire. Agbeko had some problems making weight yesterday, but eventually was able to make it. Agbeko is six years older than Abner Mares. This fight is for a WBC and IBF title. Mares is a 2-1 favorite.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
ares starts off with some quick double jabs, and works some hooks to the body. Mares catches Agbeko with a two punch combination. Mares starting off round 1 pretty fast. Agbeko lands a solid two punch combination. Mares lands a nice hook and backs to the ropes and lands some nice combinations. Mares gets warned for a low blow. Mares landing repeated blows, and knocks Agbeko down in the corner. Agbeko gets a standing eight count and looks hurt. Mares unleashes multiple punches on Agbeko in the corner. Easy 10-8 round for Mares.
Mares presses forward throwing out his jab. Mares throwing left hooks freely, but may have hit Abgeko with another low blow. Agbeko looking a little slow today, and Mares gets warned for low blows again. Agbeko trying to establish his jab, and Mares working to the rib cage of Agbeko. Mares continuing to back up Agbeko, and Agbeko lands a right with his back against the ropes. Agbeko’s jabs landing more often now, and he connects with a nice straight right. Mares lands a straight right. Better round for Agbeko, and he lands a check hook as the round ends. 10-9 round for Agbeko, but close.
Both fighters starting off round 3 a little slower. Agbeko looks lighter on his feet this round, and lands some solid jabs. Mares lands a multi punch combination to the body of Agbeko. Agbeko and Mares exchange left hooks. Agbeko staying on the outside with his jabs and Mares comes in with body shots. Agbeko throwing his jabs like a piston, but when Mares comes forward to exchange he appears to get the better of him. Mares lands a nice overhand right, and follows with a quick two punch combination. Another close round, but scored it 10-9 for Mares.
Mares starts off round 4 by throwing two quick jabs to the body of Agbeko. So far it’s been the body shots of Mares against the jabs of Agbeko. Mares starting to throw more shots at the head of Agbeko, and backs him up. Mares with a hard head body combination to Agbeko. A hard right hand by Agbeko backs Mares and buckles his knees. Very hard shot by Agbeko, and he tries to follow up. Mares gets hisfeet back and answers Agbeko with some more body shots. The one shot by Agbeko should win him this round. 10-9 round for Agbeko.
This is a close fight so far. Agbeko lands a quick left jab. Mares has been landing some solid body shots, but Agbeko’s jabs have been connecting regularly. Both fighters exchange left hooks to the head again, and Mares answers with a solid left hook on Agbeko. Agbeko’s jabs are really landing nicely. Agbeko backing up Mares now, but Mares catching Agbeko with an overhand right. Mares again gets warned for a low blow, but no point is taken away. Fighters exchange in the middle, but it is tough to gauge who gets the better of the exchange. Close round again, 10-9 for Mares.
Agbeko lands the first significant punch of round 6 with a hard jab. Mares lands a hard right counter on Agbeko, and he throws a three punch combo as Agbeko backs up. Agbeko throws an overhand right that misses, and Mares lands to the body of Agbeko. Mares lands a three punch combo before clashing heads with Agbeko. Agbeko lands a hard straight right to Mares. Mares now has a cut over his eye, and Agbeko throwing more to the head of Mares. Mares lands more hard punches to the body of Agbeko which appears to hurt him, and finishes the round with Agbeko taking shots against the ropes. 10-9 round for Mares.
Mares attacks the body first and follows to the head. Mares lands a nice overhand right again on Agbeko. Mares sticking to the body this whole fight, and it is starting to open up some shots to the head of Agbeko. Mares misses on a two punch combo, and Agbeko answers with two jabs to the nose of Mares. Agbeko lands a nice hook on Mares. Agbeko lands another overhand right on Mares. Mares clearly hit Agbeko with a low blow, but the referee does nothing in response. Close round again, but scored it 10-9 for Mares.
Agbeko in the center of the ring now, and Mares on theoutside. Agbeko lands a nice jab on Mares. A brief exchange in the middle of the ring and Mares lands the better exchange. Agbeko is against the ropes, and Mares landing some nice combinations, but Agbeko lands another overhand right. Mares throwing more than Agbeko now, and Agbeko throwing more wildly. Slower round so far. Tough round to score again, but 10-9 for Mares.
Fighters throw hard punches in the middle of the ring, and Mares lands the cleaner shots, especially to the body. Referee warns both fighters for low blows. Referee warns Agbeko for a clash of heads. Mares landing more combinations again, sticking to the body of Mares. Agbeko lands a nice two punch combination on Mares. Mares keeping his jab in the face of Agbeko. Mares lands a solid left hook on Agbeko as the round ends. 10-9 round for Agbeko.
Agbeko comes out to the middle of the ring and throws jabs to the head of Mares. Agbeko lands a hard straight right to Mares. Mares sticking to the body of Agbeko. Fighters exchanging a little more wildly, but Agbeko appears to be getting the better of Mares. Mares lands another low blow to Agbeko, but the referee does not take a point away. A really poor job by the referee this fight. Mares sticking to the body, and why not, if the referee does not take a point away for his low blows he might as well. 10-9 round for Agbeko.
Agbeko may need the knockout. Mares staying with his body shots, and Agbeko is throwing more often now, he must know he needs a knockout. Mares lands a beautiful left hook. Both fighters look exhausted. Agbeko appears to have more urgency than Mares. Both fighters throwing a lot of punches, and Agbeko lands a hard uppercut on Mares. Agbeko’s jabs are snapping the neck of Mares back. Mares lands a low blow on Agbeko, but the referee rules it a knockdown. Agbeko was doing very well until that blown call. 10-8 round for Mares based on the referee ruling it a knockdown.
This referee really has taken the fight away from Agbeko. Agebeko lands a crisp straight right on Mares. Mares throwing combinations, but has not really landed. Mares backing up now, he must know he has to cruise to win this fight. Mares has Agbeko on the ropes and throws a solid combination. Agbeko comes forward with looping hooks. Agbeko landing his jab again, but he really needs to go for the knockout. Agbeko lands a nice short left hook. It looks like Mares may have landed another low blow. Tough round to score, but 10-9 for Mares. This fight may have looked a lot differently had the referee made the correct calls.
The official scores are 113-113-, 115-111, and 115-111 for Abner Mares. A controversial decision based on the questionable calls and non calls by the referee.