It’s been a nice run with Showtime signing what is generally agreed to be the best 4 bantamweights fighting today to a tournament, but I’m not sure if it translated into a greater appreciation of the little big man divisions, much less any additional respect for when the best agree to fight each other.
It was something of a risky format for the biggest name, Vic Darchinyan, who lost his match to young Abner Mares in a controversial decision, but then again, Darchinyan is amazingly enough 35 yrs old now, so maybe it was the kind of gamble that a fighter like him has to take at this point.
Darchinyan is now matched against Yonnhy Perez in the “consolation” bout after Perez dropped his bout against Joseph Agbeko. Should be as competitive and closely contested as the previous bouts in this tourney have been, but hopefully without any further controversy if we can just get some good officiating to match the skills and hearts of the fighters.
The headliner features Abner Mares whose career had stalled out before the tourney going up against Joseph Agbeko for his IBF title. Agbeko has gained the most thus far from the tourney after previously holding the IBF title for a couple of years. King Kong was going nowhere fast after Perez dethroned him back in 2009, but the tourney provided the backdrop for the rematch, so Agbeko showed up in shape with his A-plan and took back what was his.
Mares could make the tourney his coming out statement if he can handle the always tough as nails Agbeko, but I have the feeling Agbeko is the hungriest fighter of the lot in the form of his life, so we will just have to see.
Impossible to say who the favorites will be, but I’m sure the bookies will come up with something enticing, so there it is, Saturday, April 23 at Nokia Theater, Los Angeles if you need a boxing fix or just something with plenty of excitement.