By Luis Sandoval
IBF Bantamweight champion Abner Mares faces Joseph Agbeko at the Honda Center in Anaheim on December 3 in a rematch to their controversial August showdown. Their first bout - the finale to Showtime’s Bantamweight tourney – saw Mares land numerous low blows but was never deducted a point in taking a majority decision.
Mares spoke to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab and said he is ready to settle the score once and for all with Agbeko. He is looking to not only win convincingly but also to put a definite end to this rivalry.
“It’s a little bit frustrating for myself because if you really, really look at it, I’ve been training this whole year for just this guy. You know, for Joseph this whole year literally” explained Mares. “I was supposed to fight him in April, he got hurt, [and the] fight got cancelled.”
“I gave him a rematch. I have no problems fighting him again, you know, I just really want to close this chapter.”
Many wonder how Mares will handle going to the body this time around since the referee and everyone else will be paying close attention to where his punches land. Mares understands the situation and admits to being a bit concerned about it.
“You know what, I am worried but at the same time, I know already what I’m going into. I know that if I do [throw] something close down there, they are going to penalize me or warn me,” said the undefeated bantamweight.
Mares and his team have actually been working on making his body attack more accurate than was the case in the first fight. And if his shots go low this time around, Mares is willing to abandon the attack to avoid any repercussions.
“Yeah, we’ve definitely been working on my punches being more accurate as far as not being so low. And again, if [I do] end up hitting him low without wanting to and being warned, we will definitely stop because I don’t want to get disqualified and I just want to win this fight the right way”.
Their first fight was an entertaining affair as Mares got off to a fast and strong start and faring well against the then-defending titlist. The second half of the fight was a different story as Agbeko rallied back to make Mares sweat out the final decision.
Mares promises to put on another great show as he makes the first defense of his title.
“Expect a great fight, a tremendous show. Fireworks, everything”.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewet007. You can also tune in to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with host Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.