Joseph Agbeko scores upset to win IBF Bantamweight Title!
In a dominating performance, WBC Light Heavyweight Champion "Bad" Chad Dawson, 25-0 (17), stopped late sub Epifanio Mendoza, 28-5-1 (24), in the fourth round at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA.
The champion came into the fight and did what was expected of him by winning in an impressive fashion against an overmatched foe. Mendoza took the fight on only twelve days notice after #1 contender Adrian Diaconu was forced to pull out with an injured hand.
From the opening bell, the fight belonged to Dawson. He was landing the cleaner and harder shots and seemed relaxed and confident. The only chance that Mendoza had in the bout was to catch Dawson with his bread and butter power right hand, but Dawson's defensive skills were way too much for the challenger.
By the end of the third round, Dawson found his range and stared to focus on the knockout as he backed the challenger into the ropes and preceded to rip hard left hooks to the body followed by his lightning quick rights to the head.
At the end of the round, the ringside physician, who played a large role in tonight's fights, told the referee "Not to be afraid to stop the fight." And that is exactly what he did.
From the opening bell of what would be the final round of the fight, Dawson imposed his will on Mendoza and continued to land hard right hooks and straight lefts which caused the fight to be stopped at 2:30 of the fourth round.
Although Dawson looked sharp in the fight, the question remains if any of the other top names in the division will step into the ring with him.
After the fight, Dawson expressed and interest in fighting Antonio Tarver, but understood that it's a fight that Tarver might not want, "If he takes the fight he takes it, if he doesn't he doesn't. I don't got nothing to prove." And he doesn't. In the eyes of most fight fans, Dawson is the man to beat in the light heavyweight division, not Tarver.
The televised undercard bout brought an upset as Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko, 25-1 (22), defeated Luis Perez, 25-2 (16), at the end of the seventh round to claim the IBF Bantamweight title.
The Ghana native Agbeko started strong in the early going and followed through with his earlier prediction that he would win by KO.
His relentless attack led by a sharp right hand that he seemed to be able to land at will, caused Referee Dan Stell, on the advise of the ringside physician, to call a halt to the bout prior to the eighth round.