BRONX, N.Y. Ė International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight Champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko participated in a media workout today at Johnís Boxing Gym in the Bronx, N.Y. as he prepares for Abner Mares in the eagerly anticipated final of The Bantamweight Tournament: 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.†
In the must-win co-feature, former Two-Division World Champion Vic ďRaging BullĒ Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadzok, Armenia, and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Yonnhy ďEl ColombianoĒ Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Cartagena, Colombia, will square off in the tournament consolation bout.†
Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), of the Bronx, by way of Accra, Ghana. recaptured the IBF title from Perez in the tournamentís semifinal round, while Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, won a close split decision over Darchinyan.
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.
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.
Hereís what Agbeko had to say on Tuesday:
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO:
ďThe winner of this fight is the best bantamweight in the world, of course! Ya know, this tournament was open to everybody Ė all the greatest fighters at bantamweight. The tough fought. We were brave enough to make the decision to fight in the tournament and that shows that we are the best fighters at bantamweight. So the winner of this tournament becomes the best bantamweight in the world.
ďThe fight with Vic was the only war that Mares has been through. Iíve been in a couple of wars, as far as boxing is concerned. No disrespect to [Mares] but I think Iím the better fighter. Against him, Iíve got better skills. Thereís [no] way that he can go through me. ď
Joseph Agbeko Workout Quotes in Advance of The Bantamweight Tournament Final Against Abner Mares on SHOWTIME
ďWhen I come to the fight prepared, no one can survive. When I fought Yonnhy Perez the first time, I wasnít fully prepared for that fight. Even though that was a very close fight, I didnít think I was going to lose. But a few head butts happened and it went to the favor of Yonnhy Perez and I lost the fight. In the second fight, I proved to the world that Iím the best bantamweight.
ďI feel happy to be in the final of the tournament. The only prediction that I know is that I am going to come out of the ring as the winner of the night. Iíve really prepared for [Mares]. I donít know if heíll be able to take the strength and the skills that I bring to the ring. If he can take it, then Iím going to beat him unanimously. If he canít, itís going to be a knockout.
ďTo be honest with you, I have not watched Abner Mares [vs.] Vic Darchinyan because Vic is a different fighter [than me] so I donít need to watch. Plus, Vic is a southpaw so I canít really see anything in that fight.
ďIím thinking of moving up to featherweight to take on the big guys. Iím thinking of Gamboa, Lopez and Iím thinking of being in the league with them. After this fight, if I donít get any good competition then Iím going to move to featherweight. I want to fight them. I want to prove to the world that Iím the best.
ďJoseph King Kong Agbeko is not my nickname. Itís an original name. Itís my birth name. I think my dad had a vision of something. My dad gave me the name ďKing KongĒ as I was born. Itís my real name. Itís on my passport and everything.Ē