Mares Faces IBF Bantamweight World Champion
Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko on Saturday, April 23
In The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All,
LIVE on SHOWTIME® From Nokia Theatre L.A. Live
LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2011) – World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Bantamweight Champion Abner Mares participated in a media workout today at Maywood Gym in Maywood, Calif. as he gets ready to face International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight World Champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko in the eagerly awaited Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.
Mares (21-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Silver bantamweight championship in the tournament final against Agbeko (28-2, 22 KO’s), of Accra, Ghana.
In what will be a hotly contested co-feature, former Two-Division World Champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KO’s), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadzok, Armenia, and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-1-1, 14 KO’s), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Cartagena, Colombia, will clash in the tournament consolation bout.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are available online at Ticketmaster.com, and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center Box Office.
Mares earned a berth in the final with a bloody, come-from-behind 12-round split decision win over Darchinyan in the tournament semifinals last Dec. 11 in Tacoma, Wash. Later in the evening, Agbeko earned his spot in the final by handed Perez his first career loss via a unanimous 12-round decision.
The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona. An exciting undercard will be announced shortly.
Here’s what Mares and Oscar de la Hoya had to say on Thursday:
“The fight (against Darchinyan) gave me a lot of confidence and motivation. I’m fighting legitimate fighters in this tournament and I know I belong.
“It’s a great fight. Agbeko is an amazing fighter. Not many fighters lose a title and come back stronger to win it. He’s hungry and I know he doesn’t want to lose that title again, but I’m here to prove myself, to prove that I’m the best 118 pounder and win this tournament.
“I want to go out and give the fans a good fight. With Agbeko’s style and my style, the fight has to be interesting. We can’t put on a bad fight.
“I’m here to fight the best – that’s why I’m facing Agbeko and that’s why I want to fight (Nonito) Donaire after I win this thing.
“I thank Oscar for everything. He’s the one who’s been with me from the beginning.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA:
“The Bantamweight Tournament was the best thing that could have happened to this division. SHOWTIME stepped up to the plate and did a great job putting it together. We will see very soon who is one of the best of this division. The champion of this tournament will be in line to face pound-for-pound great Nonito Donaire.
“The great thing about this fight is anyone can win it. It’s a coin toss.
“Abner is a fighter I believe in – he always give his all. He wants to be the best in his division.
“Eventually, after this tournament, we want him to keep on facing the best fighters out there. I believe he’ll go up one or two divisions, but he still has some work to do here at 118 pounds. He has the talent and speed and power to move up in weight.
“I’m really excited that Abner is the first fighter who turned professional with us and now he’s fighting for a world title. That’s exciting for us.
“We’re a young company and we have many world champions, but Abner is our first that we had from the start.
“Abner is a very dedicated and loyal fighter and we are thrilled to have him.
“With the Super Middleweight tournament SHOWTIME has created noise and attention for that division. What SHOWTIME has done is outstanding. The fans love and support these types of tournaments. They really stepped up to the plate and gave fans what they wanted.”
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?