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Written by Ian Wallwork

Abner Mares Jospeh Agbeko Rematch

Abner Mares's reputation has suffered. Since his August fight with JosephAgbeko, Mares, who holds the IBF and WBC Silver Bantamweight belts, has carried the tag of a cheat. There is good reason for this; when he and Agbeko last fought, Mares was less than sportsman-like. That's putting it mildly.

It was the final fight of Showtime's four-man bantamweight tournament. Leading up to their showdown, Mares and Agbeko had beaten Vic Darchinyan and Yonnhy Perez respectively, and two title belts waited for the winner. Both were determined to get them, but Mares perhaps too much so.

From the off he was relentless in trying to hit Agbeko's head, taking the first round by landing some devastating right hands. Agbeko seemed surprised at his rival's tenacity. It was here we started to see foul play; Mares' hands began searching for Agbeko's nether regions. The referee Russell Mora must have forgotten to put on his glasses that day, because he played blind to Mares' antics.

For the rest of the fight the low blows continued. Agbeko could not believe it and neither could the fans. In the eleventh round Mares' landed the most blatant low blow of the fight, perhaps in boxing history. It was so tacitly placed that it dropped Agbeko to his knees.

The referee must have seen this one. Surely he would take points from Mares this time?


In a bizarre error in judgement, Russell Mora ruled it a knockdown and sealed Agbeko's defeat in one of the most controversial fights of the year.

Mora didn't see all Mares' low blows. His error made an Abner Mares Joseph Agbeko Rematch neccessary

Crime and Punishment

The system of law in most countries dictates that if a man is caught for a crime and serves his state-given punishment, then he is a free man and technically forgiven his misdemeanours. In Mares' case, we can't forgive. He has been tried and found guilty by every fan who watched the fight, but he has never been brought to account for his actions. He is going to have to get his punishment in the ring, with Agbeko playing judge.

To be fair to Mares, he has taken some responsibility for the low blows; even he expected Russell Mora to take action against him. In agreeing to a rematch with Agbeko, there is an element of sacrifice on his part. Mares was hoping for a fight with super bantamweight star Nonito Donaire, the Filipino who lives top of the pound for pound lists. A fight with Donaire would have been lucrative, and probably career-defining for the Mexican. He spurned this so he could give Agbeko a rematch.

"If anything I’m one of the few fighters that fight for the people and the people want a rematch so be it. We’re fighting again."

Mares Isn't the First and Won't Be the Last

In a sport where the scoring system relies on subjective human judgement there are bound to be some controversies. Just think of all the fights that bring about the cry of a 'hometown decision'. Let's take a look at a couple of the most disputed decisions in boxing.

  • Julio Cesar Chavez vs Frank Randall
In 1994 ring legend Julio Cesar Chavez won the WBC junior welterweight title over Frank Randall, with a decision so controversial it was used as a criticism of the technical decision rule. Most fans and pundits, including The Ring Magazine, had Randall ahead. An eighth round cut to Chavez stopped the fight, and to everyone's surprise Chavez was declared the winner.

Chavez did give Randall a rematch...ten years later. By then, Randall was basking in a record of seven defeats in ten matches. This time Chavez scored a wide unanimous decision.

  • Larry Holmes vs Michael Spinks II
Hall of Famer heavyweight Larry Holmes had been aiming to beat Rocky Marciano's unbeaten record of 49-0 when he and Spinks first met. In a tight fight, most feel that Holmes did enough to win. It was close, but Spinks was given the nod, and Holmes' dreams were shattered.

Their rematch was not so close. Holmes dominated a fight that was fuelled by anger, both from Holmes need for revenge and Spinks' desire for recognition. Holmes dominated nearly every round, and when the bell went he felt his job was done. Outrage followed. In the most contested decision in boxing history, Spinks was awarded a victory none felt he deserved. Holmes couldn't contain his anger:

"The referees, the judges, the commissions, the promoters, you can kiss where the sun don’t shine…and since were on HBO thats my big black behind!”

Abner Mares Joseph Agbeko Rematch - Second Chance for Agbeko

Joseph Agbeko held his IBF Bantamweight title for four years before losing it to Mares and he would like it back. In a fair fight, the man who beat Yohnny Perez and Vic Darchinyan has a great chance. Does he worry that history will repeat itself? I will let the man himself answer that:

"There will be no more low blows this time because the world is watching. I'll prove to the world that I deserved to win the last fight."

At least Russell Mora won't be in the ring this time.

For the Abner Mares Joseph Agbeko result, click here

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