August 13th, 2011. Agbeko-Mares round-by-round and summary.

PREFIGHT PAGEANTRY:

Montebello, California’s own Abner Mares comes walking into the ring with a grey bandana covering his face, banging his gloves together and ready to go. The crowd makes it obvious at whom they are here for tonight, Mares. The mariachis are playing roaring with enthusiasm, many people are on hand from Mares’ home town. With Mares now finished with his entrance, the Champion and two time IBF Bantamweight Champion of the world Joseph Agbeko begins his ring walk. Agbeko enters the ring enthusiastically grinning, ignoring the crowd’s disapproval, and dancing to his native ghanian music. Appearing loose and confident, Agbeko steps in between the ropes and grins at the crowd’s boos, although throughout the arena there are some outnumbered Agbeko supporters. Through the pre fight pageantry it is obvious that the crowd in the Hard Rock Hotel is in favor for the younger challenger, Abner Mares.

ROUND-BY-ROUND:

  • Round 1: The younger man, Mares gets off to a blazing start. He gave a great series of right hands when Agbeko’s back was to the ropes midway through the round. Abner jumped in and out throughout the round with combinations very nicely. In the last minute of the round Mares scores a knockdown off a left hook to the body, Agbeko is able to beat the count. Once up, Abner Mares follows up his advantage in getting the better of it in exchanges against the ropes to close the round. A very strong start for Abner Mares.

Mares 10 Agbeko 8

  • Round 2 :Throughout the second stanza Agbeko is beginning to suffer some borderline low punches. Mares’s body work is tremendous throughout the first two minutes of the round, and it gives him the advantage in scoring. Mares is winning the exchanges as well. Agbeko closes the last minute of the round strongly, and begins to work his accurate, precise punching from the outside. Landing stiff jabs, left hooks, and right hands over the top. A close round where Agbeko closed strong, still a round for Mares because of his work throughout the first two minutes.

Mares 10 Agbeko 9

  • Round 3: Abner mares continues his super body work, and besting Agbeko in some of their vicious exchanges. Agbeko is winning in the jab department thus far, and certainly in this round. He has continually stuffed his stiff left jab into Mares’s face from the outside, although Mares is able to hold his own and repeatedly jabs himself, just not nearly as effectively. Agbeko gets battered on the ropes a few times throughout the round, and is not winning the exchanges. Mares wins the round on his effective aggression when he decides to go forward and dig to the body and force exchanges.

Mares 10 Agbeko 9

  • Round 4: Mares begins the round pressing forward with his jab, but is caught by the stiffer jab of Agbeko. Agbeko now is standing in front of Mares. Agbeko continues to catch Mares with a stiffer jab when the two throw the jab out. Agbeko is beginning to do some body work of his own. Mares is still the better of the two when digging in downstairs thus far. A flush, hard right hand by Agbeko momentarily stuns Mares and seconds later Mares clinches. In the final thirty seconds Mares comes back strong and shows he can take a punch very, very well. A close round, but scored for Agbeko due to the flush right hand in the middle of the round, his best punch thus far.

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 5: Mares begins round 5 similar to the fourth, pressing forward pumping out his jab repeatedly. However, Agbeko fires back a stiffer jab once more and continues to win the exchange of the two’s left jabs. Mares is working his left hook to the body in this round, and all night extremely well, probably his best punch so far. Although, the referee is beginning to warn Mares for his low punches. A good competitive round, and Agbeko boxed and landed his left jab very well from the distance. However Mares’s work rate and out hustling Agbeko in exchanges gives him the slight nod.

Mares 10 Agbeko 9

  • Round 6: Joseph is beginning to get into his rhythm more so now. Increasing his punch out put and making Mares miss. In the exchanges now, Agbeko is holding his own much better than he did in previous rounds. His boxing skills are dictating the pace in the sixth. Mares closes the round strong and punishes Agbeko on the ropes to the body and head to close out the sixth.

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 7: Agbeko begins round seven as the aggressor. Mares catches Agbeko with a right hand and a left hook to the body while Joseph was coming in, and again with another right hand over the top. Agbeko continues to march forward though. Agbeko lands some precise left hooks and right hands, once or twice at a time, rarely in combination, but very accurate. The two fighters keep exchanging their left jabs, and Agbeko’s continues to be stiffer, and knocking Mares head back. However Mares often jabs with Agbeko while being hit with the stiffer jab of Joseph Agbeko. Agbeko is again suffering borderline low punches, but is beginning to work the right hand lead much better. Abner Mares tries to steal the round in the final twenty seconds with his body work in combination. A close round to score

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 8: The two pugilist begin the action in the eight fighting in the center of the ring, exchanging each others left jabs. Mares is the man now fighting off his backfoot. Agbeko continues to win the exchange of jabs. Agbeko now is hitting mares once at a time with precise lead right hands, using them more effectively than in previous rounds. Mares continues to be the better man downstairs, whacking Agbeko with more combinations to the gut. Agbeko closes the round very effectively with his strong outside boxing skills, accurately picking off Mares down the stretch of the round. Another close round

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 9: Mares opens up the ninth digging in with three hard left hooks to the body of Agbeko. Agbeko responds upstairs and then gives Abner a taste of his own medicine with his own body work. Mares now is standing in front of Agbeko time to time with his guard held high, and Agbeko takes advantage by whacking Mares’s guard. Agbeko is being the aggressor. Mares off the back foot now, manages to show some good defensive skills. Agbeko has been able in the round to win some of the exchanges on the inside, and dish out his own body work much better than earlier on. Agbeko wins the round with some effective aggression.

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 10: Agbeko opens up the tenth round using his range very well in the first minute of the round. Being more active now, Agbeko works in a nice uppercut and does some of the best body work he’s done all night. Agbeko is having the best round of the night for himself so far, coming forward landing stiff jabs, and precise right hand leads. For the first time all night Agbeko is besting Mares at body punching. The referee warns Mares again for his low punches, but no points are deducted. Mares is being less active and assertive, but closes the round with good body work, using his left hook to the body. Still Agbeko’s round all the way.

Mares 9 Agbeko 10

  • Round 11: Agbeko opens up round eleven being again, agressive and assertive. The two trade jabs in the center of the ring and Agbeko’s is stiffer. Agbeko lands a clean one two and Mares momentarily clinches. Mares responds with a jab, followed by a sweeping right hand and the two viciously exchange to the body and head evenly in some great action. On the inside, Agbeko digs in with a left hook to the body followed by a series of clubbing right hands to the head of Mares. Again the two combatants trade for nearly twenty seconds of non stop action. Agbeko slightly gets the better of the exchange. Agbeko goes back to pumping the jab effectively. Mares now is coming forward again, and digs to the body with a left hook. Abner Mares lands another left hook to the body and this time it’s a knockdown! Agbeko beats the count and furiously disagrees with the referee that the punch was illegal and low. Many in attendance are in agreement with Agbeko’s disagreement. Mares follows up the knockdown with some fantastic body work to close the round. Agbeko’s trainer and camp are outraged with the punch that was ruled a knockdown. Upon viewing an instant replay it was indeed a low blow.

Mares 10 Agbeko 8

  • Round 12: The twelfth and final round begins with Agbeko coming into the round having the expression of discouragement due to the knockdown in round eleven that he disagreed with. Agbeko begins the round with a very stiff jab. He follows it up with another jab and Mares responds with a clean left hook in an exchange. Mares is backpedaling now, seeming to think he has the fight in hand on points. Mares jumps in and lands with two right hands. Agbeko continues moving forward, and misses his jab. Agbeko lands a stiff jab to Mares’s gut, but Mares comes back strong and gets on Agbeko’s back on the ropes and tags him in combination to the body and finishes upstairs. Mares returns to moving backwards and side to side. The two trade their left jabs and land, Agbeko lands a stiff jab after the exchange. Agbeko, the aggressor, lands two hard body punches and Mares bangs his gloves together as if to say to come on. Mares lands a good right uppercut while missing on his other attempts. Agbeko nails Mares with a left hook to the head and Mares comes back to the body with a hard left hook. The action closes with Agbeko landing a small left hook on the inside as the two swing and miss on their exchanges. A great fight. Mares wins the round by jumping in time to time with his effective combinations and moving away well for most of the round.

Mares 10 Agbeko 9

BLEACHEREPORTBOXING’S FINAL SCORECARD: Mares 114 Agbeko 112.

POST-FIGHT SUMMARY:

First off Bleachereportboxing would like to say what a terrific,evenly fought, championship bout! The crowd roared with enthusiasm when Mares was announced the new champion. Moments after the final bell and decision, Agbeko’s camp became outraged with the referee. Agbeko himself, wanted to physically confront the referee to dispute the knockdown that appeared to be an illegal low-blow punch in the eleventh round. Mares claimed a Majority Decision in the eyes of the three veteran judges ringside, by the scores of 113-113 and two scores of 115-111. This fight is more than worthy of a rematch! Agbeko-Mares was a highly competitive, entertaining, and controversial bout. Mares came out of the gate strong by scoring a knockdown in the first round and dominating the first stanza altogether. Through the first half of the bout Abner was able to do his great body work and combination punching, winning the exchanges when the two fighters went toe-to-toe. Agbeko however, in the second half of the bout, was able to make some very nice adjustments. He got his usual best punch going, the lead right hand, and was effectively out-jabbing Mares; Agbeko exchanged evenly much more than in the first half of the bout. Coming into the eleventh round, Bleachereportboxing had Agbeko coming all the way back from an early deficit, to be up on the cards by a point. This is when the controversy happened, Mares scored the knockdown to regain the lead via a low blow. Mares, to his credit, did follow up the knockdown incredibly well in the round. In the Twelfth and final round, Mares was again able to win the stanza; Even if Mares was not awarded the knockdown, the fight could have easily been scored either way. All of this beckons for a rematch; Whenever we find out who really is the better pugilist out of the two, we need to see the victor face pound-for-pound top five in the world Filipino sensation, Nonito Donaire.

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