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.