Only one shall remain

New York, NY– Last winter, by matching four of the top bantamweight (118) fighters in a two bout, single-elimination “winner takes all” tournament to determine who would eventually fight (Nonito Donaire) for supremacy in their respective weight class, another innovative concept that the “suits” at Showtime put forth and a great night of boxing ensued. Here’s the low down of the throw down that transpired on that eve: In a rematch of their 2009 war, Joseph Agbeko beat Yhonny Perez (UD 12) while Abner Mares earned a unanimous nod from the judges in a scintillating war against Vic Darchinyan over 12 rounds. Postmortem, in a let down semi final contest between Vic Darchinyan and Yhonny Perez, Vic was credited with a technical decision win after the fifth round due to Yhonny’s inability to continue due to a cut from an accidental head butt.

Agbeko (left) Don King (center) Mares (right)


IBF bantamweight titleholder Joseph Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) will defend his belt against high volume punching contender Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) over 12 scheduled rounds of throw down for the crown at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday at 10 PM ET on Showtime.


Albeit very different in styles, these main event pugs have much in common. Both throw massive amount of punches and statistically have 35 knockouts in 52 fights. Agbeko has turned the lights out of six of his last twelve opponents while Mares has whacked out eight of his last twelve. Hence, if Agbeko and Mares bring their best game to the dance; one can expect a fiery display of fistic combat.


Adhering to the norm, “ESPN Friday Night Fights” kicks off the boxing weekend. Each installment of the decorated series features news, analysis of upcoming bouts, interviews, celebrity guests offering insight into the world of boxing, and competitive scraps. This week’s main event showcases former welterweight (147) belt holder and loser of two straight Kermit Cintron (32-4-1, 28 KOs) pitted against rugged journeyman Antwone Smith (20-2-1, 12 KOs) over 10 rounds or less from the Family Arena in Saint Charles, Missouri, Friday at 9 PM ET.

John Signorella



  • OK I’m watching this on the Internet and it’s not the sharpes quality but I completely disagree with the commentary. I think Agbeko has totally outboxed Mares from the fourth round on. To me it looks like he’s slipping or fading away from most of Mare’s headshots and picked Mares apart weith acurate punches.

    Take away the illeghal shots and I think Mares is landing fewer puches on Agbeko than Paul Williams did on Lara.

  • As round 9 is about to start, I feel Agbeko has won the last 4 rounds and while he’s still not looking physically strong, I think his akward rythms are confusing and discomforting mares Mares. I think Agbeko is landing cleaner and more effective punches.

  • After one round, it looked like Agbeko’s legs weren’t good from the start. I didn’t really see a punch causing a knockdown, but Agbeko didn’t complain about the call and seemed hurt.

    My impression of the weigh in footage was Mares looking a lot more comfortable and stronger at the weight.

    But even that couldn’t really influence me to pick a winner between these two. Watching the first night of the tournament, I couldn’t escape the impression that the level in the Mares-Darcnhinyan fight was much, much higher than in Agbeko-Perez 2.

    But then Agbeko clearly beat Perez & Darchinyan, whereas I felt Mares’ fights with Perez & Darch could have gone either way, so it makes just as much sense to favor Agbeko.

  • TT- I agree with your comment..the winner of the Agbeko/Mares fight should get Donaire next..Nonito has mad skills no doubt but his KO over Montiel is a bit overrated to me..IMO Kochulito would’ve lost to any of the fighters from the bantamweight tourney..

  • The winner of the Mares/Agbeko should definitely fight Donaire. I know everyone talks about Donaire like he is untouchable because of what he did to Montiel but Montiel has always been overrated. He should have lost the fight by TKO to Alejandro Valdez a journeyman but they found a way to let Montiel keep the belt. He was also losing every round to Hasegawa til he landed that sick punch. So lets give Mares/Agbeko some props and throw Donaire in there with the winner I think it’s closer than what people say.

  • Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to this saturday. Mares vs Agbeko is a pickem fight, but more importantly I think this will be an excellent back and forth action packed fight. As for Cintron, I hope this is it for him. He seems like a humble guy, but if we’re still wondering after 10 years if he’s a world class fighter it means he ain’t.

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