By Jhonny Gonzalez
Honda Center, Anaheim, California - In a mandatory rematch, Abner Mares (23-0-1, 13KOs) won a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision over Joseph Agbeko (28-4, 22KOs) to retain his IBF bantamweight title. All three judges saw it 118-110.
Mares won the first fight in July, which took place at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. The IBF ordered an immediate rematch after Agbeko filed a petition over referee Russell Mora allowing Mares to land a high volume of low blows without a point deduction.
An action start to the rematch. Agbeko came out much faster than he did in the first fight. They started throwing a lot of punches and mixing it up early. Mares went right after Agbeko in the second and started landing accurate shots to the head and body. Mares was a little wild and suffered a decent sized cut above his right eye. The referee ruled that Mares' cut came from a cut.
Mares was quicker and outhustling Agbeko, a bit wilder with his punches and missing a good number of his combinations. Mares controlled the action, although the cut above his eye was bothering him and Agbeko was able to capitalize in quick spots.
The face of Mares was a bloody mask in the ninth. He was taking punches from Agbeko due to his inability to see some of them coming with the heavy flow of blood pouring down from the cut. Agbeko was staring to pump his jab and using it to target Mares' cut.
Mares stayed on his toes and looked for accurate counters. Agbeko would charge forward, but he didn't take advantage when Mares would stop throwing. In the eleventh, Mares rallied very hard in the final thirty seconds after Agbeko controlled the first two minutes. He landed three hard right hands to wobble Agbeko's legs and followed up with stiff left hands.
The final round was close. Neither fighter had an impressive hold in the first two minutes. They both tried to steal it on the cards. In the final minute, they traded punches until the bell and the crowd stood up to give praise for the in-ring action.