Showtime Boxing’s bantamweight tournament will come to its conclusion at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles this Saturday night when Abner Mares steps into the ring with Joseph Agbeko in the tournament final for the IBF Bantamweight and the WBC Silver Bantamweight titles. On the same card Vic Darchinyan fights Yonnhy Perez in the consolation match.
Mares (21-0, 13 KO’s) will try to remain undefeated with a win over former IBF Bantamweight champion Agbeko (28-2, 22 KO’s). The eventual winner will win the IBF Bantamweight title and the WBC Silver Bantamweight title and will be considered the best in the weight class. And unlike most high profile boxing matches, this fight has been handicapped with near to even odds.
Mares got to the Showtime Boxing’s bantamweight tournament finals by beating Yonnhy Perez last December via unanimous decision. Mares barely beat Darchinyan to earn his spot in the finals, and he did not look good against his unorthodox opponent, narrowly squeaking out a split decision victory.
Oddsmakers at SBG Global have the best price on the favored Mares at -140, while the biggest upset payout on Agbeko is +120 at Sports Interaction. This fight could offer an opportunity for an underdog payout because Mares has shown difficulty adapting to an unorthodox style in the past. Mare has also had issues over the years with trainers and has done little to improve that. Agbeko just might be worth the risk.
In the consolation match Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KO’s) fights Perez (21-1, 14 KO’s). In this fight the principals are nearly even with the oddsmakers, but it’s Perez that gets the nod as the 5Dimes -115 favorite. Darchinyan is a slight -105 underdog at 5Dimes, and as far as picking a winner this one could go either way. It will likely come down to the fighter that wants it the most.
Darchinyan looks like he’s past the prime of his career now, and against an opponent the caliber of Perez he may have trouble with the pace. At that price Perez looks like the best deal here. We think this fight is likely to go the distance and would also opt for any prop action on the fight results ending up in the judge’s hands.
On the same card Heavyweights DaVarryl Williamson (26-6) and Michael Marrone (19-2) will battle in a 10-round fight. Both fighters will be coming off a loss their last time out and should be motivated to get back on track.