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Agbeko retains IBF bantamweight crown

NEWARK, N.J. -- Joseph Agbeko earned a 12-round majority decision over William Gonzalez to retain his International Boxing Federation world bantamweight title Thursday night.

The victory enabled Agbeko, a native of Ghana now fighting out of the Bronx, to improve his career record to 26-1 with 22 knockouts. Gonzalez, from Managua, Nicaragua, fell to 21-3 overall.

Agbeko took command of the fight from the opening seconds, landing a straight right that stunned and briefly buckled the challenger.

Judge Tom Kaczmarek scored the fight even at 114-114, while Lawrence Layton and Larry Doggette both scored it 116-112 in favor of the champion.

"I thought I deserved a unanimous decision," Agbeko said. "He gave me good competition, but I clearly beat him. He was a tough fighter, but I was better tonight."

Gonzalez scored in the fifth round with a left that stunned Agbeko. The champion responded in the sixth with a series of right hands that cut the nose and right eye of Gonzalez.

Gonzalez rallied in the 10th round with a series of short lefts, but Agbeko won the last two rounds on all three cards.