Fight News

Don King Praises IBF’s Order for Immediate Agbeko-Mares Rematch

"Based upon our review of the bout, it has been determined by the IBF that inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight."

Don King is pleased his fighter Joseph Agbeko will get an immediate rematch to his highly controversial, low blow-filled loss to Abner Mares last Saturday (August 13) in Showtime’s bantamweight tournament final.

Referee Russell Mora has been at the center of the controversy. He allowed Abner Mares to repeatedly land low blows throughout the fight’s 12 rounds. In the 11th, he ruled a blatant low blow a knockdown which took away a round Agbeko was winning and assisted in Mares winning a majority decision.

In a letter to King, IBF president Daryl J. Peoples ruled that due to Mora’s “inappropriate conduct,” Mares must defend his newly won title by December 14.

[IBF Chairman] Mr. Tucker and I observed several low blow fouls committed by Abner Mares.  While the referee, Russell Mora, issued numerous warnings for low blows during the course of the bout, he neglected to deduct points for these fouls.  With 1:03 left in round eleven, Joseph Agbeko was hit with a low blow foul that forced him to the canvas.  Mr. Mora determined that the blow landed by Mares was legal and began to count indicating that a knockdown had occurred.

Based upon our review of the bout, it has been determined by the IBF that inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight.

In accordance with IBF/USBA Rule 3.D., the IBF is ordering a rematch between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares for the IBF Bantamweight title which must be held within the next 120 days or by December 14, 2011. 

While satisfied with the IBF’s decision, Don King believes that Russell Mora should be investigated to determine any outside motivations that caused his in-ring performance.

“It was a triple-blow against boxing by hurting fighters, discrediting world championship boxing and the great state of Nevada, where so many of boxing’s most memorable bouts have been staged,” King said. “This has caused an undeserved negative shadow over Nevada. There should be an investigation to clear any and all doubts as to what occurred in this fight. The people deserve to know more about whatever caused this man to do what he did.”

Per the IBF’s ruling, the Agbeko-Mares rematch must be held within the next 120 days with neither fighter being able to have an interim bout. Rematch negotiations between Mares’ promoter, Golden Boy, and Agbeko’s, Don King Productions, must begin immediately and be completed by September 15. If that date is missed, the IBF will call a purse bid.

At press time, Abner Mares nor Golden Boy Promotions has commented on the IBF’s ruling.

 

 

 

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