By James Slater: Rematches of two controversial fights will take place on the same night of December 3rd, ESPN.com has revealed. On Showtime, bantamweights Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko will meet up in a rematch of their August 13th, low blow-filled 12-rounder, while over on HBO Pay-Per-View, light-middleweights Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito will meet up in a return of their bloody 2008 battle.
Which fight will win the ratings war?
Agbeko, deemed hugely unlucky not to have seen his opponent being docked at least two points due to seemingly blatant low blows, will be hoping a sterner referee allows Mares, who ultimately out-pointed him, to get away with no repeat fouls. Mares won the IBF 122-pound title via tight majority verdict, but referee Russell Mora’s questionable handling of the exciting fight got all the headlines. Now, with an as yet unknown referee to take charge of the rematch, both men will be hoping to settle once and for all who the better fighter is.
As this fight will go out on regular Showtime, and the Cotto-Margarito return will be available only on Pay-Per-View (for $54.95), it’s possible the bantamweight match will draw similar numbers to the HBO show. To add interest to the show that will take place at The Honda Centre in Anaheim, CA, Golden Boy have added Anselmo Moreno Vs. Vic Darchinyan to the card, a potentially great fight in itself.
“We have finalized it,” Richard Schaefer told ESPN when speaking of the card. “I’m thrilled about it.”
Golden Boy have not gone head-to-head with Top Rank on purpose, with December 3rd being “the only date we had to work with,” according to Schaefer.
As a result, a great night of boxing now awaits fans who have access to both Showtime and HBO, and are willing to pay for the latter’s card.
The Mares-Agbeko fight from August attracted so much controversy, that a return was all but inevitable. It is credit to both fighters that a second clash between the two has been made so quickly. Can Mares repeat his win without the aid of low blows he is allowed to get away with? Or will Agbeko win this time around? If so, maybe we will see a rubber-match?
For what it’s worth, I see 25-year-old Mares of Mexico coming away with another close decision win over the 31-year-old from Ghana.