By Jake Donovan
While Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito throw down in their high profile rematch in New York, another “repeat or revenge” themed headliner takes place nearly 3,000 miles west. Abner Mares puts on the line his unbeaten record, bantamweight title and fighting reputation in a return go with Joseph Agbeko in their Showtime-televised main event.
Their first fight decided the Showtime Bantamweight tournament, with Mares taking a majority decision in their August fight marred in controversy. The unbeaten Mares landed numerous low blows throughout the 12-round affair, only to never have points deducted from referee Russell Mora.
The third man went in the complete opposite direction, ruling a severe low blow in the 11th as a knockdown, which in part led to Mares taking the fight on two of the three scorecards.
Agbeko has been on a mission ever since to exact revenge, just as he did against Yonnhy Perez at the start of the tournament.
Will Agbeko follow in the footsteps of countryman Azumah Nelson and prove to be the king of rematches? Will Mares prove the first fight was no fluke and that he’s just as capable of winning well within the rules?
Read on to see how the Boxingscene.com staff believes the rematch will unfold.
“I like Mares by decision again.”
– Mitch Abramson
“In yet another upset prediction for this weekend, I think Agbeko figured out Mares and was coming on in the late rounds of the 1st fight. We also saw what he did to Yonnhy Perez in their rematch. With the increased scrutiny on Mares' body punches I say Agbeko UD.”
– Ryan “The Greek” Burton
“Mares has walked through hell while having just entered his prime, and still boasts an unbeaten record to show for it. Many believe he was shorted in his draw with Perez last year, and has proven his worth in narrow wins over top bantamweights Darchinyan and Agbeko. Low blows or not, the kid can fight and I believe the best is yet to come. Mares by decision, a verdict that everyone but Agbeko and his handlers see as controversy-free.”
– Jake Donovan
“Mares by unanimous decision. Mares obviously will have to be very aware of keeping his punches up. Otherwise, potential point deductions could affect his psyche throughout the course of this fight. Assuming he can do that, the underrated Mares should be too skillful for Agbeko.”
– Keith Idec
“I like Mares's work rate and his body punching. Assuming he avoids scorecard subtractions this time around, I think those elements get him to a clearer, less controversial win at the end of the night. To me, 8-4 makes the most sense. Mares UD 12.
– Lyle Fitzsimmons
“Agbeko SD I think he adjusts better than Mares we saw that in his rematch with Yohnny Perez. He will make the adjustments enough to beat Mares but it won’t show on the cards.”
– Ernest Gabion
“Mares by decision.”
– Thomas Gerbasi
“I felt horrible for Agbeko after the first fight, as he was the victim of several low blows that went uncalled for and seemed to change the tempo of the fight. I see both men coming into the rematch fully motivated and I think Agbeko will come in with a little more determination this time and pull out a hotly-contested decision. When Agbeko is firing on all cylinders he is a tough man to beat.”
– Chris Robinson
“I expect to see another exciting and close bout. I believe Agbeko's ability to give different looks will trouble Mares during the fight. But Mares will make up for it with sheer determination and will be more than willing to engage in a war. In the end, Mares will edge out another close decision and retain his title minus the low blows. Mares by Split Decision.”
– Luis “Three For Juan” Sandoval
The Mares-Agbeko rematch headlines an all-bantamweight telecast live on Showtime, beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Vic Darchinyan challenges long-reigning titlist Anselmo Moreno in the co-feature.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]