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  Mares Wins Controversial Majority Decision
In Fight Marred By Horrendous Refereeing

By Bret "The Threat" Newton

Referee Russell Mora has a whole lot of explaining to do. It may have appeared to fans that Russell Mora was on the payroll tonight. If you thought the judges that were suspended in the Williams vs. Lara fight was bad, this was much worse. Mora should be investigated and suspended indefinitely, immediately, if things appear as SHOWTIME clearly stated.

Abner Mares (now 22-0-1, 13 KO's) won the IBF Bantamweight Title (and bantamweight tournament final) with a majority decision win over Joseph Agbeko in a fight that was filled with high controversy. Mares appeared to be in control early, but after a right hand in the 4th, things turned towards Agbeko.

In round 1, Mares was forcing the fight with Agbeko, applying constant pressure, making Agbeko fight a sloppier style than used to. However, Mares was mixing in a number of unintentional low blows, right from the opening round. Russell Mora gave him a few quick warnings here and there, but for the most part was warning Agbeko for holding Mares' head down, which he was not. It didn't stop there however, after a slip from throwing a wild shot in the opening round, Agebko fell through the ropes to which Mora ruled an official knockdown. Replays clearly showed he slipped.

In round 2, Mares kept the pressure on, but along came more low blows. More warning to Agbeko from Mora ensued.

In round 4, a huge counter right hand from Agbeko buckled Mares and the fight looked to have take a dramatic turn. Agbeko, however, must not have realize how hurt Mares was because he never followed up. Mares was out where he was standing, but Agbeko allowed him back into the fight.

In round 5, Mares was completely punched out and Agbeko began to take control of the fight.

In round 6 an accidental headbutt opened up a cut over the right eye of Mares. Mora decided to warn Agbeko despite the two accidentally clashing heads. A bit of a conflict there.

In round 7, another big low blow by Mares and Mora warns Agbeko.

In round 10. Another huge low blow from Mares and Mora actually halts the fight, warns Mares, but doesn't take a point. Very bizarre.

In round 11, Mares landed the biggest low blow to this point and Agbeko goes down in pain. Mora rules it a knockdown! Agbeko is furious and rightly so. This wasn't the Zab Judah vs. Amir Khan low blow kind of knockdown, this was the real deal. Where's Vic Drakulich when you need him?

In round 12, the two traded while Agbeko appeared to close the show.

Final scores were 113-113, and 115-111 on the other two cards. Agbeko falls to 28-3 with 22 KO's. After the fight Agbeko stated he felt Mora was a "racist", and Agbeko's team announced they were filing a protest.

Broadcaster Jim Gray spoke with Mora after the fight stating it was one of the worst officiating jobs he and commentators Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver had seen. After showing Mora the replay of the knockdown, Mora began to sweat and stated it looked like a legal punch live, but would like to sit down and watch the footage again later. Umm?

Also worthy of note, Mora had continuously warned Agebko every time HE was low-blowed for holding Mares' head down, yet when Mares held Agbeko's head down in one of the later rounds, Mora again warned Agbeko, this time telling him to "get your head up". A little contradicting to say the least.


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