Doug Fischer

Agbeko-Mares lands in L.A. on April 23

The anticipated bantamweight showdown between beltholder Joseph Agbeko and top contender Abner Mares will take place on April 23 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, Mares' manager Frank Espinoza told

The excellent matchup, which is the finals of Showtime's four-man single-elimination bantamweight tournament, will be supported by the tournament's consolation match between Yonnhy Perez and Vic Darchinyan. Both bouts will be televised on Showtime.

Agbeko (28-2, 22 knockouts), THE RING's No. 3-rated bantamweight, defeated Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs) via unanimous decision in the first round of Showtime's tournament on Dec. 11. It was a rematch of their 2009 fight of the year candidate won by Perez, THE RING's No. 6-rated bantamweight.

Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), THE RING's No. 4-rated bantamweight, defeated Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs), the magazine's No. 9-ranked 118-pound contender, via split decision in the co-feature to Agbeko-Perez II.

The site of the tournament finals gives Mares, a Mexican national who grew up in Southern California, home turf advantage.

Nokia Theater, a 7,100-seat venue that is part of the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex across from STAPLES Center, will also test Mares' drawing power.

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