Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Holds Barred: Mares-Agbeko 2 and Moreno-Darchinyan Previews

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the highly-anticipated rematch between IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares and the former two-time IBF bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko, and the fight between WBA bantamweight super champion Anselmo Moreno and former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan.

These two fights take place Saturday, December 3, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and will be telecast live in the U.S. on Showtime.

The first fight between Mares (22-0-1, 13 KOs), who was a Mexican Olympian in 2004 and now lives in California, and Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs), from Accra, Ghana, and now fighting out of the Bronx, New York, was held August 13, 2011, in Las Vegas. While it was officially ruled a majority decision win for Mares, it was marred by a major controversy since Mares landed numerous low blows but was not penalized by referee Russell Mora. Mares even dropped Agbeko with a clear-cut shot to the groin in the 11th round, but the referee ruled it a legal knockdown. This fight was the final bout in the Showtime bantamweight tournament, but since it generated so much heated controversy, an immediate rematch was scheduled.

Although Moreno (31-1-1, 11 KOs), from Panama City, Panama, holds a WBA bantamweight belt and is highly regarded as a skillful boxer, most of his fights have been in his home country, and he has never before fought in the U.S. The slugger Darchinyan (37-3-1, 27 KOs), originally from Armenia and now fighting out of Sydney, Australia, is coming off two straight wins after losing a split decision to Mares in the opening round of the Showtime bantamweight tournament.

With Nonito Donaire moving up to super bantamweight, the winners of these fights will stake a claim to being the best bantamweight boxer in the world.

We spoke with Abner Mares, Anselmo Moreno, and Vic Darchinyan on a recent media conference call (Agbeko was also scheduled for that call but never made it on). We got their views on what to expect in their fights. We also heard Abner Mares candidly discuss the controversy in his first fight with Joseph Agbeko, and what he would have done differently if the referee had taken points away from him for low blows.

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The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

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