Joseph Agbeko: I want bigger fights

Joseph AgbekoWorld IBO Bantamweight Champion Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko has said he is not ready for a rematch with Luis Melendez of Colombia because he is looking forward to “bigger money fights with the bigger names in boxing”.

“The dream is big ahead. I want the big fights. Without any disrespect to Melendez, I want the bigger fights in the States.

The fights that can generate a lot of money and interest so I would definitely have to fight the big guys.

I’m not running away from Melendez but I am going the business way,” Joseph Agbeko told a news conference at the Accra Sports Stadium in the early hours of Saturday morning, a short while after beating his Colombian challenger Luis Melendez to annex the IBO Bantamweight Champion.

All three judges- Deon Dwarte of South Africa, Ataa Eddie Pappoe of Ghana and Laten Oumgar of the Netherlands- gave a unanimous win to Agbeko after 12 exciting rounds of fight, scoring the bout 117-111, 119-111 and 117-113 respectively.

Though Luis Melendez said he was okay with the scores, he insisted the marks were exaggerated and that he was ready for a rematch with Agbeko anywhere anytime.

But the Ghanaian boxer said he was looking ahead: “Talking about Super Bantam Weight, I would say there are a lot of opportunities out there for me.

There might be a possible match up against Leo Santa Cruz for 122 on May 4.

There may also be a possible fight with the winner of Nonito Donaire.  I might move up to super bantamweight. I am waiting for my team and what they would tell me.”

“There are a lot of possible fights ahead. I’m not thinking about Abner Mares now.

Mares has just moved up to Feather Weight. There are talks against Leo Santa Cruz and other super bantamweight fighters.

Though SHOWTIME has started talking about myself and Mares for a third fight, I don’t think I would move on to Feather Weight now.

That is not on my mind now. Definitely, in future, it would happen,” Agbeko stated.

Melendez Was Tough

Joseph King Kong Agbeko has said his Colombian challenger gave him a tougher than expected fight.

“I would like to congratulate Luis Melendez for his performance. I was not expecting such a great performance.

I thought he would retire because he started very well and strong and was giving very good big shots.

“He put up an impressive performance but my coach gave me a very good technical strategy to be able to win this fight.

That with the support of Ghanaians and my fans is what made me come out successfully.

“During the fight, I did not have any doubts that I would win.

After each round, my coach tells me who was winning and what to do and how I can maintain the win. We did not just go punching.

We went in with a strategy to be ahead with points. In case a knock-out comes in we would take advantage of it but if it does not come, then we would win on points.

“It got to a time that I was strong and I wanted to hold my guard to go in for him to punch so I counter and give him good shots so I stop him or knock him or something but my coach said that was not what I needed.

He said we were winning and that I should take it slowly.

He said even if I don’t knock him out, we were still ahead on points and a win was what we needed so I took my time and went by his strategy.

“I would congratulate Melendez again because he was much stronger than I expected.

He did a marvelous job and gave me a very good comeback fight.

I thought it was going to be an easy fight but he gave me a tough one and I really like it because it would prepare me for the future bouts.

He is a tough boxer, a very good one, a strong one,” he stated.

Brains Not Blows

Luis Melendez, after the fight, described Agbeko as “an intelligent boxer”.

Agbeko has also explained why he did not thrill his fans with his hallmark power jabs.

“Boxing is not all about power. Sometimes you meet a boxer that if you do not take care, he might also catch you with a very good shot that can take you down.

You rather have to always fight smart and you’re your brains than your hand.

With this fight, our concentration was not on the power, it was on the strategy and how to be ahead on points,” he added.

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