BRONX, N.Y. – International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight Champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko participated in a media workout today at John’s Boxing Gym in the Bronx, N.Y. as he prepares for Abner Mares in the eagerly anticipated final of The Bantamweight Tournament: 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.
In the must-win 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 square off in the tournament consolation bout.
Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), of the Bronx, by way of Accra, Ghana. recaptured the IBF title from Perez in the tournament’s semifinal round, while Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, won a close split decision over Darchinyan.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are available online at Ticketmaster.com, and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center Box Office.
The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona. An exciting undercard will be announced shortly.
Here’s what Agbeko had to say on Tuesday:
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO:
“The winner of this fight is the best bantamweight in the world, of course! Ya know, this tournament was open to everybody – all the greatest fighters at bantamweight. The tough fought. We were brave enough to make the decision to fight in the tournament and that shows that we are the best fighters at bantamweight. So the winner of this tournament becomes the best bantamweight in the world.
“The fight with Vic was the only war that Mares has been through. I’ve been in a couple of wars, as far as boxing is concerned. No disrespect to [Mares] but I think I’m the better fighter. Against him, I’ve got better skills. There’s [no] way that he can go through me. “
“When I come to the fight prepared, no one can survive. When I fought Yonnhy Perez the first time, I wasn’t fully prepared for that fight. Even though that was a very close fight, I didn’t think I was going to lose. But a few head butts happened and it went to the favor of Yonnhy Perez and I lost the fight. In the second fight, I proved to the world that I’m the best bantamweight.
“I feel happy to be in the final of the tournament. The only prediction that I know is that I am going to come out of the ring as the winner of the night. I’ve really prepared for [Mares]. I don’t know if he’ll be able to take the strength and the skills that I bring to the ring. If he can take it, then I’m going to beat him unanimously. If he can’t, it’s going to be a knockout.
“To be honest with you, I have not watched Abner Mares [vs.] Vic Darchinyan because Vic is a different fighter [than me] so I don’t need to watch. Plus, Vic is a southpaw so I can’t really see anything in that fight.
“I’m thinking of moving up to featherweight to take on the big guys. I’m thinking of Gamboa, Lopez and I’m thinking of being in the league with them. After this fight, if I don’t get any good competition then I’m going to move to featherweight. I want to fight them. I want to prove to the world that I’m the best.
“Joseph King Kong Agbeko is not my nickname. It’s an original name. It’s my birth name. I think my dad had a vision of something. My dad gave me the name “King Kong” as I was born. It’s my real name. It’s on my passport and everything.”
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