Pinoy boxing fans get a chance to watch the hugely controversial IBF bantamweight title fight between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko which Mares won by a split decision and where referee Russel Mora came under bitter criticism for his failure to penalize Mares for several patently low blows.
The fight which took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas can be seen on Sunday on AKTV on IBC channel 13 starting at 7 pm.
Showtime commentator Al Bernstein called Mora’s performance in the ring “the most disgraceful performance of a referee that I have seen in the past 15 years.”
WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire branded Mora who refereed his fight against Fernando Montiel when he allowed the Mexican to continue after he was dropped and was in no condition to go on, “a horrible referee.”
Donaire said he was ready to face Mares if rival promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy “want to make it happen I’m always ready to fight him. I don’t mind whoever they put in front of me. If they want to get Mares, I don’t mind.”
International Boxing Federation president Daryl Peoples and Championship Committee chairman Lindsey Tucker ordered a rematch after reviewing a tape of the fight. They noted that there were several low blow fouls committed by Mares and said that while referee Mora issued numerous warnings he neglected to penalize Mares and deduct points for the fouls.
Peoples and Tucker also ruled that the knockdown called by Mora in the eleventh round which proved crucial in deciding the outcome of the fight which Mares won by a split decision, was the result of a low blow.
Based on its review the IBF branded Mora’s conduct “inappropriate” and said it “affected the outcome of the fight and in accordance with IBF/USBA Rules, the IBF is ordering a rematch which must be held within the next 120 days or by December 14, 2011
Promoter Don King who handles Agbeko welcomed the swift and decisive action by the IBF leadership and urged the Nevada State Athletic Commission and its leaders “to step up in similar fashion as the IBF has done. After all, they have an additional obligation to protect those making wagers by insuring that fair play is paramount in their state.”
The rematch put on hold any plans for WBC/WBO champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire to face-off against Mares in a unification title fight. Arum said Donaire would take the fight in a heartbeat but that he felt Agbeko clearly deserved to get a rematch first.