MARES WINS SHOWTIME BANTAMWEIGHT TOURNEY BEATING JOSEPH AGBEKO
13 August 2011
Unbeaten Abner Mares, 25 years-old Mexican based in California, claims to be the world’s best bantamweight by dethroning IBF bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko, 31 years-old from Ghana based in New York, by controversial twelve round majority decision.
Scores: two 115-111 (Adalaide Byrd and Oren Shellenberger) fro Mares and a draw of 113-113 (C.J. Ross).
The African slipped in the first round but was erroneously registered as knockdown by referee Russell Mora.
Mares repeatedly hit Agbeko low without getting a point deduction. The defending champ went down again in the eleventh from a clear low blow and Mares was credited with a knockdown.
So undefetaed Mares, 22-0-1 (13 KOs), acquired the IBF title while retained his WBC Silver belt and won SHOWTIME 118-pounder Tournament.
Agbeko impaired to 28-3-0 (22 KOs).
The referee Russell Mora failured to deduct a point from the winner despite at least five warnings for low blows and several other shots that seemed south of the border left many in disbelief.
During the telecast, SHOWTIME ringside analyst Antonio Tarver said, “Mora robbed all of us of a great fight.’’
There were 1,394 punches thrown in a give-and-take slugfest. Mares connected on 318 of 732, Agbeko on 318 of 732.
“I thought the first knockdown was clear,’’ said Mares, who made history by becoming the first homegrown Golden Boy Promotions boxer to capture a world title. “On the second I hit him on the belt and the ref chose to give him a count. I agree with the ref’s choice.
“I like to work the body but I was making the fight and all he did was counter-punch.
“I’m open to fight anybody (next). I love this tournament and would love to be in another one like this.’’
Said Agbeko, who demanded an immediate rematch, “I felt as though I was fighting two opponents in the ring tonight, Abner Mares and the referee. The referee ruled incorrectly on the knockdowns and he allowed Mares to hit me low repeatedly. Then, in the 11th, he called what everyone could see was another obvious low blow a knockdown.
“I don’t why these things happened to me. I felt the ref was against me from the start. All I wanted was a fair fight.
“I like Abner. He’s a good fighter. But I’m sure he didn’t want to win a fight this way.’’
Heavyweight Eric Molina, 29 years old from Lyford, Texas, won an easy match against Warren Browning, 36 years old from Kentucky.
“Drummer Boy” Molina, a Mexican-American, won the vacant WBC USNBC heavyweight title with a devastating result, showing considerable power in his hands.
Molina, 18-1-0 (14 KOs), was sharp overpowering Browning, 14-2-1 (9 KOs).
Molina hurt several time. his opponent and in the third round had Browing down when referee Robert Byrd stopped the bout at 24 seconds into the round.
“It was great to be in front of this big crowd in Vegas at the Hard Rock, “Molina said after the win. “I never thought about bending over tonight. Mexican blood flows through my veins and I ain’t going down ever again. They now know there is a true Mexican-American heavyweight contender out there, and it’s Eric Molina. I want to be the first one to win a world championship.”
Unbeaten Cuban Angelo Santana, 23 years old, enjoyed an easy payday putting Ramsan Adaev, down before scoring a second round technical knockout.
“La Cobra” Santana did was was expected against inferior opposition and slammed Adaev, 31 years old from Russia, who came in on short notice.
In the 2nd Santana exploded with devastating flurries before referee Kenny Bayless halted the punishment at 2:02 into the round.
Santana, 11-0-0 (8 KOs), won the vacant WBA Fedecaribe super-lightweight title claiming his first belt.
Adaev is now 8-1-1 (7 KOs).
“I wanted to make a statement to my promoter, Don King; the sport of boxing; and boxing fans everywhere that I am ready to fight the best at the 140-pound limit,” Santana said in the ring after the fight. “I want Brandon Rios or Vernon Paris.”
Former WBA flyweight champion Eric Morel, 37 years olf from Puerto Rico, based in Madison, Wisconsin, won an easy mismatch as Daniel Quevedo, 27 years-old from Mexico, wasn’t allowed to come out for the 5th round.
Morel, 45-2-0 (23 KOs), showed natural skills in the way. The former world champ dominated from the start and dropped Quevedo, 13-12-2 (8 KOs), in the 2nd round.
Showtime Bantamweight Tournament Final: Abner Mares Beats Joseph Agbeko As Russell Mora Steals The Show
In the championship fight of the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, a close, action-packed, and interesting fight between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko was overshadowed by a terrible performance from referee Russell Mora, who failed to penalize Mares for the plethora of illegal punches he landed below Agbeko's beltline and went so far as to rule a knockdown on a blatant low blow in the 11th round, a round Agbeko had been winning.
I like both of these fighters and I don’t like to criticize boxers. I, like most of you, have done it. It’s hard, it hurts and it comes with almost inhuman amounts of discipline and pain. With that being said Abner Mares threw WAY, WAY, WAY too many low blows. Without exaggeration, I would say he landed at least 20 and referee Russell Mora flatly refused to take a point from him. In the 11th Round, Mora was looking directly at both fighters from no more than 3 feet away when Mares unleashed a left uppercut that couldn’t have landed more squarely on Agbeko’s cup if he had a bullseye drawn on it. Not only did he not warn Mares, he counted it as a knockdown, which put the fight out of reach for Agbeko. Simply put, it was the worst performance by a boxing referee I have ever seen. If that doesn’t sway you just know that veteran Showtime ringside commentator, Al Bernstein, said it was the worst refereed fight he has seen in 30 years. The degree to which Russell Mora changed this World Championship bout cannot be overstated.
Abner Mares beats Joseph Agbeko for world title
Challenger from Hawaiian Gardens is the new International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion by majority decision.
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