In what seems to be becoming a trend in boxing, the IBF ordered a rematch of the Joseph Agbeko-Abner Mares championship bantamweight last Saturday.
For those who missed anything, Mares scored a majority decision (113-113, 115-111, 115-111) over Agbeko last Saturday to win the Showtime bantamweight championship and IBF title.
Many were critical of referee Russell Mora for not penalizing Mares for landing several apparent low blows. In fact, one of the two knockdowns Agbeko suffered was from a low blow, his camp contends. The IBF agreed and ordered a rematch today.
A letter from the IBF president Daryl J. Peoples to Agbeko's promoter Don King read in part: "Mr. Tucker and I observed several low blow fouls committed by Abner Mares. While the referee, Russell Mora, issued numerous warnings for low blows during the course of the bout, he neglected to deduct points for these fouls. With 1:03 left in round eleven, Joseph Agbeko was hit with a low blow foul that forced him to the canvas. Mr. Mora determined that the blow landed by Mares was legal and began to count indicating that a knockdown had occurred."
In accordance with IBF/USBA Rule 3.D., the IBF is ordering a rematch between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares for the IBF Bantamweight title which must be held within the next 120 days or by December 14, 2011. Neither boxer can take another fight until the rematch is completed. Negotiations should begin immediately and be concluded by September 15, 2011. In the event that you have not negotiated this bout by September 15, 2011, the IBF will call for a purse bid to be held to determine who will promote the fight."
Don King issued his own statement, which read in part: “I am pleased to see that the International Boxing Federation, the organization that sanctioned the world championship match between IBF champion Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, took such swift action in ordering an immediate rematch."
This isn't the first time this year a fight which was held in question because of questionable referees or judges has been sanctioned.
The New Jersey Athletic Commission suspended the three judges in the Paul Williams Erislandy fight in Atlantic City last month. Judges Donald Givens, Hilton Whitaker and Al Bennett were suspended after awarding Williams (116-114, 115-114, 114-114) a majority-decision win. Most agreed that Erislandy, who landed more power shots and was more accurate, won the fight.