Abner Mares agrees to rematch with Joseph Agbeko
Abner Mares has accepted the mandatory rematch order by the International Boxing Federation to fight Joseph Agbeko by the end of the year, Mares' manager said Thursday.
"Abner is going to do the right thing and take the fight," Mares' manager Frank Espinoza said. "We understand the IBF's position, and respect Joseph."
Mares, of Hawaiian Gardens, took Agbeko's IBF bantamweight belt Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, winning a controversial majority decision after referee Russell Mora awarded Mares a knockdown on a left uppercut that clearly qualified as a low blow that should've led to a one-point deduction.
Earlier, Mora gave Mares a first-round knockdown after Agbeko fell because his foot was stepped on. Agbeko also endured a hard 10th-round low blow.
Outrage followed, both from the crowd inside the venue, and those who watched the bout on Showtime.
"Sometimes, controversy can be a good thing for a fighter," Espinoza said. "People want to see this fight again. That's a good thing for Abner. We're confident he'll preval again."
Mares' promoter, Richard Schaefer, said Showtime has already expressed interest in televising the rematch. Schaefer said a December date is likely, and that a site in Los Angeles is "my first choice."
Mares, 25, will be honored by the City of Hawaiian Gardens Sunday.
Joseph Agbeko, left, and Abner Mares during their Aug. 13 fight. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters.