Two-time world bantamweight champion, Joseph King Kong Agbeko, has split from legendary promoter Don King after nearly five years of a union.
Agbeko, 32, said in a statement contained in a post on America-based eastsideboxing.com that he was now free and believed he would be “much better now that I don’t have to deal with all the problems Don King kept creating for me”.
The split has made the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion promotional free agent, meaning he can negotiate his own terms without reference to a promoter as is the case with Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Miguel Cotto.
Explaining further, his publicist, Ebenezer Noye, told Graphic Sports that they were just unhappy in the relationship, but although the statement issued as a result of the break-up was silent on the real reason, it appeared Don King had both short-changed Agbeko and been unable to deliver on good fights for the Ghanaian.
“I’m confident I am among the best in the world at 118 pounds (bantamweight) and 122 pounds (super bantamweight). There are so many great fighters in each weight class,” Agbeko said. “I’m ready to fight anyone. I’m sure the TV networks and boxing fans will love the fights. I have a television-friendly, all-action style. I really look forward to working with a new promoter and together making a real impact.
“Now that I have my promotional freedom I will show my true boxing talent. Now I will finally be able to focus on fighting and not have to deal with the behind-the-scenes scheming of King.”
“Boxing is such a mental sport. It is very difficult to focus on boxing when you are stressed about how your promoter is mistreating you. I’m very easy to work with, but dealing with Don created a ton of tension,” Agbeko was quoted by the website as having said.
“All I want is to be treated fair; nothing extra, just fair. Mentally it beats a fighter down dealing with King. He is always up to no good. Now I’m free, I can really show that I am an even better boxer than I’ve proved to be so far.
“I’m ready to take on any top boxer at 118 or 122. Wherever the big fights are, that’s the division I want to fight in. There are so many great fights for me and for boxing fans in both divisions. I respect all the top fighters. I just want the chance to show who is best in the ring.”
Agbeko lost his title to Abner Mares in a foul-plagued fight in August 2011, but the Mexican opponent won the resulting mandatory rematch by a unanimous points verdict in December 2011.
At the moment, Agbeko is scheduled to fight Filipino Michael Domingo in Accra for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) bantamweight title.