On a beautiful Thursday afternoon at the elegant Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein announced a Showtime bantamweight tournament: winner takes all. Originally put together to resemble supper middleweight super six tournament, but with two athletes, Nonito Donaire and Montiel declining to participate, it turned into four combatants, single elimination tournament with two semi-final bouts scheduled for Saturday, December 11th,2010 which will be televised live by Showtime from Irapuato, Mexico.
Hard punching Armenian, Vic”The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-2-1,27KO’S) will face former Mexican Olympian Abner Mares920-0-1,13KO’S) for the vacant WBC bantamweight Silver title.
IBF bantamweight king from Colombia Yonnhy Perez (20-0-1,14KO’s) will defend his crown against the man he took it form last year, Joseph King Kong Agbeko (27-2,22KO’S), who currently resides in Bronx, New York.
Each bout will be scheduled for twelve rounds. The winners will face each other in the final in 2011 and losers will battle it out in a consolation fight.
“Meaningful match-ups with high stakes in boxing’s most competitive divisions- that’s our promise to boxing fans,” said Ken Hersman of Showtime:” I hold these four world championship competitors in the highest regard for taking fights that fans want to see to prove they are a sole champion in the division. When you consistently fight and defeat the best, you deserve to be recognized as such.”
“What makes these match up so intriguing,” said Al Bernstein:” Is that besides uncertain outcome they would be fought at a very high skill level.”
All four contestants were excited and grateful to Showtime for including them in the tournament.
“I want to prove to the world that I am the best bantamweight in the world!” exclaimed former bantamweight champion from Accra, Ghana, Joseph King Kong Agbeko. Just a side note, King Kong is not his nick name. It is a middle name given to him by his parents.
“My style is Mexican. I am going to go for a knock out!’ exclaimed the most colorful and the most experienced boxer in the tournament, Vic Darchinyan, who brought a huge entourage all the way from Australia just for the press conference;” Mexicans are going to love me. One has to prepare mentally and physically to fight and I will.”
His opponent, the youngest and the least experienced, but probably the most talented of the bunch, Mexican Abner Mares expressed admiration for his opponent:” It’s an honor to fight Vic Darchinyan. He has beaten all the Mexicans, but here I am. He is going to face me in Mexico. It’s going to be a tough fight for both of us and I am going to be the next bantamweight champion in Mexico. Mexico is ready for a new champion. I am going to train three times a day and work on my strength and I think my youth and my strength will help me beat Darchinyan.”
The current IBF bantamweight champion from Colombia, Yonnhy Perez who is set to rematch Joseph Agbeko, expressed his gratitude through a translator:” We are going to show people another great fight with Agbeko in Mexico with no head butts and no controversy this time.”
The Showtime will begin the live broadcast on December 11th at 9:00 pm Eastern time.