NEW YORK (May 27, 2011) – Joseph King Kong Agbeko has been cleared by doctors to return to work and will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight championship against undefeated rising star and World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver 118-pound titleholder Abner Mares, who will also defend his title, in The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, August 13, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at a site to be determined.
The highly anticipated 12-round world title matchup between New York-based Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) of Accra, Ghana and Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, was originally scheduled for April 23, but was postponed when Agbeko was injured moments after arrival at Los Angeles International Airport for fight week. Doctors at a nearby hospital diagnosed the champion with sudden onset sciatica, a back injury.
The August 13 SHOWTIME Championship Boxing telecast will be Agbeko’s fourth consecutive appearance on the network and the third in a row for Mares.
“The talented and courageous men in this division have delivered some of the most memorable fights of the last decade,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “This tournament concept has already delivered three excellent match-ups and the best is yet to come with this Final. I am proud of Joseph and Abner for staying on course to finish what they started. May the best man win.”
Agbeko, who had never previously missed a fight, was told by a Los Angeles physician to receive treatment and wait six weeks before resuming training after the April 23 postponement. When he was cleared to fly, Agbeko returned to his native Ghana to rest but will return to New York next week to resume training.
“I have been receiving physical therapy treatments here in Accra and I am happy to report that my body has responded well,” Agbeko said. “I feel healthy and stronger than ever and will be ready to fight on Aug. 13.”
“I would like to thank Abner Mares and SHOWTIME for giving me time to recover from this most unfortunate of injuries. I will forever remember their great sportsmanship during my time of trouble.”
Mares welcomed the news. “I’m excited to get the fight with Agbeko rescheduled so I can finish what I started and win the bantamweight tournament. It was unfortunate that Agbeko was injured in April, but I’m happy he has recovered and we have a date set now. I want to fight the best and I know I can beat the best. I will not rest until I become the best of the best in the bantamweight division.”
Agbeko will be making his first start since recapturing the IBF crown with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision win over then-unbeaten Yonnhy Perez in the bantamweight tournament semifinal on Dec. 11, 2010, in Tacoma, Wash. Agbeko convincingly won a thrilling give-and-take battle by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. Their exciting fight came in a rematch of a 2009 Halloween night slugfest that Perez won on points.
It will also be the first fight back for Mares since the semifinals in Tacoma, where he rallied dramatically to earn the most significant victory of his career, a 12-round split decision win over former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan in a bloody, knockdown-laden affair. Mares recovered from a deep cut along his hairline in the opening round, the first knockdown of his career in the second round and a point-deduction in the fourth round to floor Darchinyan in the seventh round en route to a victory by scores of 115-111, 113-112 and 111-115.
The world championship fight will be promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions. A venue and an exciting undercard for the August 13 event will be announced shortly.
CHARLES HUERTA CHOSEN BY FANS AS LAST WEEK’S BOXER WITH THE MOST CARÁCTER
New York, N.Y. (May 27, 2011) – Boxing fans who watched the May 20 edition of “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” selected Charles Huerta as the boxer with the most character and determination in the ring. Although Huerta lost a close decision to Christopher Martin, he received 75 percent of all votes cast across the nation via text message and on Univision.com, making him the champion for the week.
“Cinturón Tecate” (Tecate Belt) is an award created to support the boxers who display the most carácter in the ring during the “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” broadcast each Friday night on TeleFutura. Tecate recognizes that viewers at home are the best judges and allows them to participate by sending a text message to 55333 or visit Univision.com to vote for their favorite boxer of the night. To thank participating fans, each text submitted gives them the opportunity to win boxing memorabilia, such as T-shirts, autographed pictures and even tickets to future “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” fights.
As contenders in the competition, the boxers who receive the most votes throughout the season will have the opportunity to win an actual “Cinturón Tecate” belt, equipment for their gym and donations to a charity of their choice in their name. Current rankings stand as follow:
Ranking Boxer % of Votes Date of Fight
1 Mike Perez 87% May 13
2 Jessie Vargas 82% April 8
3 Librado Andrade 75% May 6
3 Charles Huerta 75% May 20
4 Peter Quillin 68% April 29
The next opportunity for boxing aficionados to participate in “Cinturón Tecate” voting will be during the June 3 edition of “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” on Telefutura when rising undefeated star Leo Santa Cruz of Los Angeles takes on former World Champion Jose “Carita” Lopez of Puerto Rico from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Visit www.Facebook.com/TecateBoxing or www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing for additional details on the next fight.
For more information on “Cinturón Tecate,” results or to speak with a brand executive about Tecate’s continuous support of boxing, please contact FORMULATIN at (212) 219-0321.
Edison Miranda begins comeback on June 4th
Beginning an uncharacteristically quiet comeback on the undercard of the big boxing show in Atlantic City on June 4 will be former middleweight and super middleweight contender Edison “Pantera” Miranda (33-5, 29 KOs).
The monstrously powerful fan favorite will return in a supporting light heavyweight bout before (World Boxing Council) WBC super middleweight champion Carl “Cobra” Froch’s battle against Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson in the Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinal at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday, June 4, and televised live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing starting at 9 PM ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Miranda’s manager, Steve Benbasat, says the world should expect a whole new Edison Miranda that night. “He’s a beast right now — looking unbelievable and extremely strong. He’s got a new trainer and a new attitude. He’s been blasting people in the gym. He’ll be better than ever because he realizes the dumb mistakes he’s made in the past.”
Miranda has joined forces with South Florida-based trainer Noel Carbajal and, according to Benbasat, things are going very well. “They’ve really hit it off. Not only is he getting him in shape, but Noel is teaching him things no one has ever taught him before.”
After suffering a loss in April 2010 to Lucian Bute in a challenge for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship, Miranda returned to his native Colombia for a few months. “Then he came back here and started training hard,” continues Benbasat. “We could have gotten him another fight right away, but we wanted to cultivate some of the new things he’s been learning in the gym, such as his new defense and his new style.”
For Team Miranda, the plan will be to have this next fight off-TV (an eight-round tussle with capable Pittsburgh spoiler Rayco “War” Saunders) and solidify all the improvements in style and the seven-pound jump in weight class, then take a televised fight to show the world the new Miranda. “Then we’ll go for the gusto. Whoever is big at 175 lbs. at the time. Maybe Jean Pascal or Tavoris Cloud. Whoever thinks they can get a win against a recognizable name. We’re going to go in there and steal it.”
The biggest obstacle, says Benbasat, is Miranda’s habit of looking fantastic until it really matters the most. “He’s only lost to the best of the best. They’re all champions: Bute, Ward, Abraham and Pavlik. Those names speak for themselves. He beat the hell out of everyone else he fought. It was not even close. But he stepped up to the next level and fell apart. We believe we’ve worked that out of him now. He was just over-thinking and not using his instincts.”
The Pantera, Edison Miranda, is creeping up slowly on the world’s light heavyweight champions. With a new outlook and improvements in his all-around game, he plans on quietly making his way to within striking distance of a title belt and then lashing out with his amazing power and precision.
That’s how big cats always hunt.
Carl Froch vs. Glen Johnson is presented by DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing, in association with Matchroom Sports and Caesars Atlantic City.
Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $100, and $50, can be purchased through the Boardwalk Hall ticket office and any retail Ticketmaster outet, online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.