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Showtime’s Bantam Weight Tournement Set To Start


Four of the world’s most talented bantamweights participated in a national media conference call to discuss The Bantamweight Tournament: Winner Takes All – a two-stage, single-elimination tournament of 118-pounders – which begins with two Semifinal bouts on Saturday, Dec. 11, LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington.

In the opening bout, undefeated, world-ranked rising star Abner Mares (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, will face two-division world champion HyeFighter Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-2-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia. Then, former IBF 118-pound champ Joseph King Kong Agbeko (27-2, 22 KOs), of Bronx, N.Y., by way of Ghana, Africa, will try to earn back the title from the man that won it from him, current IBF champ Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-0-1, 14 KOs), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Colombia.

With a win over Darchinyan, Mares could earn a rematch against Perez, who he fought to a disputed majority draw last May 22, or face the hard-hitting Agbeko. If Darchinyan wins his semifinal bout, he could face the last man to beat him, Agbeko, who won a close, unanimous decision in July 2009.

Regardless of the scenarios, storylines and matchups, each boxer starts the tournament on Dec. 11 with the same chance to make, and win, the Final – and ultimately earn bragging rights as the best bantamweight in the world.

All fighters in The Bantamweight Tournament are guaranteed two fights within the tournament structure – Semifinals and Finals. The winners of each Semifinal will fight for the Bantamweight Tournament Championship with the losers fighting in the consolation fight on the same night. In the event of a draw in the Semifinals, SHOWTIME will determine the Championship opponent based on tournament performance.

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