IBF orders Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko rematch
The International Boxing Federation on Tuesday ordered new bantamweight champion Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens to have an immediate rematch against New York's Joseph Agbeko, who gave up his belt in a controversial majority decision Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The New Jersey-based sanctioning body said because of "numerous low blows" by Mares that referee Russell Mora "neglected to deduct points for," the IBF was demanding a quick rematch because the "inappropriate conduct by the referee affected the outcome of the fight."
The IBF order means the rematch must take place by Dec. 14. Both fighters are restricted from accepting another fight, IBF President Daryl J. Peoples ruled, and negotiations for the rematch between Agbeko's promoter Don King and Mares' Golden Boy Promotions should be completed by Sept. 15.
King said he was "pleased" by the ruling. "When obvious mistakes are made, it's best to recognize them and attempt to immediately right the wrongs."
Officials at Golden Boy were reviewing the IBF decision, and expected to consult with Mares and his manager Frank Espinoza in short order to establish how the new 25-year-old champion should respond.
Photo: Abner Mares, right, gets hit in the throat by IBF bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko during their title fight at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters