It was a fight that almost never happened. IBF bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko (28-2) was supposed to take on WBC Silver 118-pound champ Abner Mares (21-0-1) in a unification bout last April as part of the Showtime Bantamweight tournament.
A bout with sciatica forced Agbeko off the card. Fortunately for the native of Ghana, Mares and Golden Boy Promotions didn’t make an issue about postponing the fight.
"I want to thank Abner Mares and his team for their patience. It's going to be a great fight,” said Agbeko, who will fight Mares on August 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Mares said he was ready for a war last April and wasn’t happy the fight was called off. He’s said he’s moved on from any bitterness.
Said Mares: “It was frustrating at the time the first fight was called off. I was at the peak of my training and I can't lie, I'm human and I was very frustrated. It destroyed me a little bit, but then I regrouped and the more mature Abner prevailed.”
Agbeko’s promoter Don King, citing each boxer’s pride for his native country, said it’s a fight for “unity, solidarity and togetherness”.
“Mares will be Poncho Villa and Agbeko will win for his Ghanaian people,” said King.