Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares take to the scales, and weigh in one day before their Bantamweight unification tournament finale.
Former two-time IBF Bantamweight Champion of the World, Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko, gives his insights on his bout with Abner Mares the day before their Bantamweight tournament finale.
BRB: Were here with IBF Bantamweight World Champion, Joseph Agbeko, set to defend his title tomorrow night against Abner Mares in the Showtime tournament finale. Joseph, how was making weight? You were .2 pounds over, was it a problem? Or are you just fine
JA: I wasn’t 2 pounds over my weight
JA: .2, it was the mistake of the scale. Because our scale, we checked our official scale yesterday, it was the same thing. So when we check our weight for the room before coming, we were below, but going here it was a different story. So I gotta go and take a pee and come back and make the weight
BRB: So it was no problem then to make weight?
JA: No, no, not a problem.
BRB: How do you feel about tomorrow night’s fight?
JA: I feel confident, I feel very happy that it’s coming off. Definitely King Kong is coming back home with his title and the one that Abner Mares is bringing and I’m taking it home.
BRB: Ok, thank you.
Veteran World renowned Showtime’s Championship Boxing announcer, Al Bernstein, gives his insights on Agbeko-Mares, as well as other upcoming Championship bouts.
BRB: We’re here with world renowned boxing expert Al Bernstein. Al, what are your thoughts on tomorrow nights championship tournament finale between Agbeko and Mares?
AB: Yeah, I think it’s going to be a very good fight. You know that Joseph Agbeko in his last fight he had showed us something that I think not everybody thought he had. He was not just a gritty performer and a powerful guy,and a resilient guy, he showed us tremendous boxer puncher skills and the question is can he bring that again against Mares. Mares, who became more of a brawler against Vic Darchinan because of all the problems he had early in the fight. You know, a headbut that caused a knock down, a point being deducted so he had to be the brawler and he out-bullied the bully Vic Darchinan. The question is will Mares be able to box a little better and will Agbeko continue to be the boxer punker. If Agbeko doesn’t perform quite at the level he did against Perez and Mares is able to up his game just a half a notch this could be a pick us fight.
BRB: So you believe this will be competitive. You’re not leaning towards one man winning out sidedly at all?
AB: No, I think it’s going to be competitive. I think it’ll be a good fight and I think everything points to that.The only way it would be a really one sided fight is if Agbeko is able to fight exactly the way he did against Perez and Abner Mares, again, brawls a little too much, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case.
BRB: But do you believe Abner Mares’ best bet is to fight going forward for most of the fight?
AB: You know, forward maybe yes, but not brawling. He’s got to come in behind the jab. He’s got to use combinations. He’s got to use his skills in this fight. He says he’s going for a knockdown, thinks he can get one. Maybe he can, but Joseph Agbeko is a very tough man to knock out.
BRB: So in a slower tactical pace would you favor Agbeko over Mares, if it becomes more of a boxing match rather than a slugging match?
AB: If, Agbeko is able to fight excatly the way he did against Perez but that kind of fight if Abner Mares uses his jab and his combinations which he is capable of he can win it as well.
BRB: So you don’t think necessarily he has to make it a slugging match, Mares does, to defeat Agbeko?
AB: I wouldn’t if I was him. I would certainly want to land some ….. punches. But if I was him I would the hand speed and the combination punching and try and win rounds. His mission in my opinion is to win rounds in this fight cause I don’t believe he will be able to knock Agbeko, he might but I think thats just a tough task.
BRB: What’d you think of Agbeko coming in .2 pounds over the weight limit? Is that something you worry about?
AB: Not really, I think it’s fairly insignificant. But it’s one more extra little annoyance. I do believe Joseph Agbeko might be just a bit preoccupied. We had him at the fighter meeting and I’m not sure he’s as focused on this fight as he might be. But that’s just a guess. I think that’s an annoyance but I don’t think it’s a major detail.
BRB: What were some of the things he said at the pre fight meetings with yourself that led you to believe he may be preoccupied.
AB: I just think he wasn’t his normal self in terms of his personality. There could be a million things that can account for that. I’m not certain it’s a issue, but its possible.
BRB: Do you think is confidence is fairly there?
AB: Oh yeah, well I think he’s always a confident fighter. I believe he thinks he’s going to win this fight. I don’t wanna paint a dire picture for him, but will he be exactly what he was in his last fight? Thats the question.
BRB: Who would you love to see the winner of this tournament face off with next? Nonito Donaire is a name a lot of people would probably say.
AB: Yeah, well I think Nonito Donaire is the superstar of this weight class. Nonito Doniare from anything up from 118 to 122, he’s the man. To me, he’s the third or fourth best fighter in the world, he’s spectacular, I’ve always said Nonito Donaire can only beat himself. If nonito donaire is in shape, ready to go and fights a focused fight I dont think there is anybody in 122 lbs or 118 lbs that beats him. But, we’ve seen stranger things happen, we’ve seen Donaire himself have distractions, not be a 100 percent for fights. And make fights tougher for himself then they should have been.
BRB: Which fighter out of these two, currently, that you’ve analyzed, do you think would give Nonito Donaire more problems?
AB: Probably Agbeko,cause he has a great chin,and Donaire might have a problem hurting him. So I think he might be a little bit more difficult for Donaire, but I think it’s an uphill struggle for Agbeko as well.
BRB: We also have the upcoming Mayweahter-Ortiz fight for the WBC Welterweight Championship next month here in Vegas. Do you have a prediction yet? Or is that a fight you look to analyze more?
AB: You know I think Mayweather is clearly the favorite. He’s 34 years old and hasn’t fought in 16 months. Ortiz, obviously is more active, he’s a younger fighter, he’s a left hander. But this is a perfect example of why, when you get to the level of Mayweather, the left handed thing doesn’t become an issue. His sparring partners, Floyd Mayweather, Sechew Powell,Darryl Lattimore, and Kassim Ouma. All world class fighters, those are his sparring partners.
BRB: And they are southpaws I believe right?
AB: They’re all lefties. So is he gonna be ready to face a slick lefty? I think so, because all those fighters are really good and would be a challenge for Ortiz, or anybody else.
BRB: So you would favor Mayweather in that upcoming fight?
AB: You have to, that doesn’t suggest that Victor Ortiz can’t win, I think he could. If Mayweather sticks back, if that layoff affects him. But we saw Mayweather come off a big layoff against Juan Manuel Marquez and do well, but Ortiz is a bigger stronger fighter.
BRB: So you don’t expect it to be an ideal tuneup, you expect it to be a legitimate fight, hell on Mayweather’s hands. Or is that an overstatement? Just a tough competitive fight?
AB: I’m gonna say tough competitive fight we hope (chuckles). I think it’s a very difficult one, cause you have to remember Ortiz went life and death with Andre Berto, he had a draw with Lamont Peterson, and he lost to Maidana. So at this juncture, Ortiz redeemed himself. But his fight with Berto was a struggle. If Berto went into a fight with Mayweather we know Berto would be the underdog. So the fact that Ortiz didn’t dominate Andre Berto tells us that Ortiz is the same kind of underdog against Mayweather.
BRB: Ok thank you very much for your time Al, we appreciate it. Have a good day.
Veteran World renowned Showtime’s Championship Boxing’s ring announcer, Jimmy Lennon Jr. Reflects on his career, and gives his thoughts on Mares-Agbeko.
BRB: Were here with world renowned boxing announcer, jimmy lennon Jr. Jimmy, what are you thoughts on tomorrow nights fight? Do you have a pick or prediction? Or just looking forward to it?
JLJr: Yeah I’m really looking forward to it, the best part of my job is getting the introductions done, sitting down and enjoying and watching it unfold. I try to stay away from predictions, but let me tell you Abner Mares can be tough to beat. He looked really good against Darchinyan, he’s young and motivated, so he’s gonna be real tough. If I had to pick someone I’d pick him. It’s gonna be a great fight, and two deserving champions.
BRB: What are some of your favorite fights off the top of your head you’ve been able to announce over the years?
JLJr: Yeah, I’ve done a lot, top of my head I’ve done over ten thousand fights, so I’ve done a lot. But I do remember all the Tyson fights, the Holyfield ear bite, and the first episode as well. But I really look at when Chavez fought Greg Haugen and it drew 135,000 people in Mexico City. It was a huge fight, and the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at a fight. That was a big event. The fight wasn’t the greatest, but the event was…
BRB: Something you’ll never forget?
JLJr: Never forget that.
BRB: What’d you think of Castillo-Corrales? I believe you announced that one as well.
JLJr: Yeah, I announced both fights. That first fight was one of the best fight I’ve ever been apart of. Marquez and Vasquez was the best trilogy I’ve been apart of, those three fight were great. And so it’s just been a lot of great fights.
BRB: Ok thank you for your time Jimmy.