Four of the best bantamweights in the world participated in a press conference to formally announce the eagerly awaited The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.
Joseph King Kong Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), of Accra, Ghana, will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight world championship against undefeated rising star Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, who defends his WBC Silver bantamweight championship in the tournament final.
In what will be a hotly contested co-feature, former two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadzok, Armenia, and former IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Cartagena, Colombia, will clash in the tournament consolation bout.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are available online at Ticketmaster.com, and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center Box Office.
Agbeko earned a berth in the final by dealing Perez his first career loss via a unanimous 12-round decision in the tournament semifinals last Dec. 11 in Tacoma, Wash..
Earlier in the night, Mares, came from behind in dramatic fashion to reach the tournament final by winning a 12-round split decision over former two-division world champ Darchinyan in a bloody affair.
The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions. An exciting undercard will be announced shortly.
Photography by: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
See below for what the fighters and promoters had to say on Tuesday:
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO:
“Boxing is one of the most beautiful sports in the world and this night of two great fights gives us the opportunity to show just how beautiful it is once again. Abner Mares is a great fighter and someone I respect outside of the ring. He better be ready to answer for what I’ve got for him come April 23.
“I was coming off a loss and came out the winner in the rematch (against Perez). Everything went exactly as planned. Abner Mares is a very different fighter compared to Perez and Darchinyan. Abner Mares is a much more technical fighter. We are going to come out with a style totally different than what we did against Vic and Yonnhy.
“We’re not worried about where this fight is being held. People say he has an advantage because it’s his hometown but we will fight him anywhere.”
“I will come to fight on April 23 against Abner Mares. I know it’s going to be a great fight and the best fight of the night.”