Luis Melendez vs Joseph Agbeko Preview March 23
After 15 months away from the ring, former world bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko of Ghana will return on Friday March 22 to take on Luis Melendez of Colombia in a 12-round bout in Accra, Ghana. Agbeko hasn’t fought since December of 2011 when he was beaten by unanimous decision by Abner Mares. What’s worse, he hasn’t won a bout since he earned a unanimous decision over Yohnny Perez in 2010. Agbeko lost two straight to Mares as he was also beaten by a majority decision in August of 2011.
Both fights against Mares were for the IBF title. Agbeko won the crown when he stopped Luis Alberto Perez in the eighth round in 2007. He defended it against William Gonzalez and Vic Darchinyan before losing it to Perez by unanimous decision in their first meeting in October of 2009. He regained it in the rematch against Perez before losing it to Mares.
Agbeko’s now 32 years old and owns a record of 28-4 along with 22 Kos. He’s got good power, but hasn’t stopped anybody since beating Gonzales almost six years ago now. Agbeko’s a good boxer with a solid chin and has taken on some of the world’s best in the 118 lb. division since he turned pro in 1998.
Melendez is a 33-year-old southpaw who hails from Cartagena. He turned pro back n 2001 and has a decent record of 34-8-1 with 25 Kos. He’s won eight out of his past 10 bouts, but they’ve all been against Grade B opponents. He had a rough stretch before that as he was beaten five times in seven outings from 2007 to 2010. Since included a 12th-round knockout to Fernando Monteil in 2007 in a WBO Flyweight title fight. He was also stopped three years later in the second round by Michael Domingo.
Melendez last fought in November and he was stopped again, this time in the sixth round by unbeaten Julio Cela. As you can see, his chin certainly isn’t his strong point. This will hurt him against Agbeko since the African still has good power even though he hasn’t proven it lately. Melendez has a good right jab and his footwork isn’t bad, but he doesn’t have the power to keep Agbeko off of him.
The fight is being held on Agbeko’s 33rd birthday and he’ll have the hometown support behind him. He’s going to have to shake some ring rust in the first couple of rounds, but after that he’s going to give Melendez all sorts of trouble. Look for Agbeko to stop Melendez anytime from the fourth round on.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Melendez win at +1300 and an Agbeko victory at -2575. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.