Mon, Dec 05, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Moreno, Mares retain their titles

AFP, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA

Abner Mares, left, throws a right hand at Joseph Agbeko of Ghana in Anaheim, California, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Anselmo Moreno retained his WBA bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over Australian challenger Vic Darchinyan at the Honda Center Arena on Saturday.

Moreno dominated former world champion Darchinyan over 12 rounds, winning easily on all three judges’ scorecards, 116-111, 117-110 and 120-107.

It was the 26th consecutive victory and ninth title defense for Moreno.

“He’s a great boxer, but he faced a ghost tonight,” said Moreno, who was fighting for the first time on US soil. “He couldn’t catch me ... He threw a lot of punches, and I avoided them. That was the plan. Yes, he did connect a few times, but so did I.”

Darchinyan became so frustrated at one point in the fourth round that he threw Moreno (32-1-1, 11 KOs) to the canvas, causing the referee to deduct a point.

Darchinyan was the more aggressive of the two for much of the fight, but could not get through the slick defense of the Panamanian.

In the main event doubleheader, Abner Mares kept his unbeaten record intact by beating Joseph Agbeko by unanimous decision to retain his IBF bantamweight belt.

“I’m happy that my fans finally saw my true boxing skills,” crowd favorite Mares said. “I beat him the first time and I beat him again. I knew I was winning the whole fight.”

Mares won 118-110 on all three judges’ scorecards in a rematch of his majority-decision victory over Agbeko three months ago.

Mares landed several low blows on Agbeko in their controversial first fight, but was not penalized by the referee. Agbeko protested and after a review, the IBF ordered an immediate rematch.

Mares (23-0-1, 13 KOs) fought the final 10 rounds with a bad cut near his right eye.

Moreno could be Mares’s next opponent, Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer said.

The Ghana-born Agbeko did not like the decision.

“A lot of media guys told me at the press conference that this is California, and that I will have to knock him out to win,” Agbeko said. “I told them no. If I win, I deserve to win. Right now, I don’t have anything to protest. I don’t feel like a loser. I think this decision is unfair. You shouldn’t have to knock out your opponent to win in California. I thought I fought better tonight than the last fight.”

WBA HEAVYWEIGHT

AP, HELSINKI

Alexander Povetkin retained his WBA heavyweight title with an eighth-round knockout of US challenger Cedric Boswell at Hartwall Arena on Saturday.

It took Boswell 17 years as a professional to get a shot at a world title, but his dream of becoming the first American in five years to hold one of the major heavyweight belts withered under a barrage of blows from the Russian.

Povetkin had 42-year-old Boswell on the ropes by the end of the seventh round wsith a succession of big punches and was knocked out in the next round.

Povetkin improved to 23-0 (16 KOs), while Boswell (35-2, 26 KOs) lost for the first since 2003.

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