In maybe the worst decision of the year, two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Mykal Fox (22-3, 5 KOs) to capture the interim WBA welterweight title at the Armory in Minneapolis on Saturday night.
Fox, who took the fight on short notice after Cody Crowley pulled out due to a positive test for COVID-19, dropped Maestre with a counter left hand in round two.
From there, the Maryland native used his jab to dominate the fight, but after 12 rounds, the unthinkable happened. Fox was robbed. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Maestre by scores of 114-113, 115-112, and 117-110.
Fox, 25, outlanded Maestre 157 to 131. However, Maestre did land more power shots(119-108), but again, the wrong guy won on Saturday night.
“I was stunned by the decision,” Fox said. “There’s no way he won more rounds than me. I knocked him down. I hurt him. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do. I don’t know what the judges were looking at. Look at his face and tell me he won that fight.”
The 34-year-old Maestre said he would give Fox a rematch.
“Fox fought very well, and he deserves a rematch,” said Maestre. “It was a very close fight. If my team says that’s what they want; I’ll be ready to fight him again.”
The fight started with a bit of controversy. Fox’s corner complained about the tape job done on Maestre’s gloves. Eventually, the gloves had to be re-taped, which delayed the fight.
It’s clear that Fox won the fight, and hopefully, something can be done to make this right. A fighter trains months for this opportunity, and to have it stolen from you due to incompetent judges is just wrong.
Here is a photo of the scorecards:
Santamaria decisions Alexander
In the opening fight on FOX, Luke Santamaria (12-2-1, 7 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory over former two-division champion Devon Alexander (27-7-1, 14 KOs) after 10 rounds of super welterweight action.
“I want to thank Devon for giving me this opportunity,” said Santamaria. “He’s a great fighter. I got the opportunity and I showed up again.”
The younger fighter, Santamaria was able to control the bout with his legs and landed more impactful shots over the 10-rounds, including moments where he appeared to stagger the southpaw Alexander with counter left hooks in rounds one and nine.
“My legs were the key for me, he was trying to catch me with the left and I was able to anticipate it,” said Santamaria. “I was too quick on my feet for him. My footwork was the key. I’m ready to keep stepping up the competition.”
Those impactful shots made the difference as the two fighters each landed 82 punches throughout the fight. While Alexander had the 28-13 edge in jabs connected, Santamaria landed 69 power punches to 54 from Alexander. After the fight, Alexander revealed that a right bicep injury suffered in the first round inhibited his ability to land effectively. After 10 rounds, the judges saw the fight by scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93.
“I hurt my right bicep in the first round and it really held me back from getting my offense going,” said Alexander. “I tried to shake it out as the fight went on but I just couldn’t get anything going. I’m disappointed.”
Stanionis-Collazo ruled a no-decision
Unbeaten rising welterweight Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) and former world champion Luis Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs) fought to a no-decision after an accidental headbutt injured Collazo in the fourth round, leading to the referee calling off the bout that headlined FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday night from the Armory in Minneapolis.
The battle between the highly-regarded prospect and tough veteran contender delivered early, as Stanionis and Collazo fought at a close range and exchanged consistent power punches. Stanionis appeared to get the better of the early action, out landing Collazo 104 to 50 while connecting on over 52% of his total shots according to CompuBox.
“He was coming into me and I wanted to show that I’m strong too and I could fight him off,” said Stanionis. “It didn’t feel like a big collision, but it must have been worse for him.”
In the fourth round, which was again fought at a close distance, late action saw an accidental headbutt stun Collazo and put him on the canvas in obvious and immediate pain. While he took his time and attempted to gather himself, referee Charlie Fitch was forced to waive off the bout at the suggestion of the ringside physician, resulting in the no-decision 2:31 into the round.
“It’s disappointing of course,” said Stanionis. “He’s a tough fighter and he’s a warrior, so it’s unfortunate it had to be like this. I was just getting started. I knew he was going to come forward like that and that the headbutts would be a factor. It is what it is.
“I feel great physically. I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible. Collazo always brings a great fight so I knew it was going to be a lot of action. He’s tested a lot of young prospects and taken them into deep waters. I wanted to entertain people and give the fans a great fight.”
“Coming into the fight, we knew that we could test him,” said Collazo, who reiterated his pre-fight statements that this would be his last fight. “We were both coming in at the same time and that led to the clash of heads. It happens a lot. I love this sport and I still have the passion for it, but it’s getting frustrating. I’m blessed to have the career that I’ve had. It’s on to the next chapter of my life.”
Photos from Sean Michael Ham/
Premier Boxing Champions
Unbeaten welterweights go toe-to-toe as Canada’s Cody Crowley meets two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre for the Interim WBA Welterweight World Championship headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, August 7 from The Armory in Minneapolis.
FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features hard-hitting rising welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis in a 10-round duel against former world champion Luis Collazo. Kicking off the broadcast, former-two division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” will return to action for a 10-round welterweight showdown against Luke Santamaría.
Representing his native Ontario, Canada, Crowley (19-0, 9 KOs) returns to the ring after a September 2020 triumph over Josh Torres. Crowley’s 2019 run saw him win a Canadian super welterweight title with a 12-round decision over Stuart McLellan in February, before successfully defending that title with a dominant decision over Mian Hussain in October. The 28-year-old returned to fight in the U.S. for the first time since 2016 in his triumph over Torres, after seven of his first eight pro fights came in the U.S.
“On August 7, the world will discover a new welterweight force in the division in Cody Crowley,” said Crowley. “I know that they call Gabriel Maestre the ‘Venezuelan Lomachenko’, but after I beat him for the crown, he will return to Venezuela known as the man who put me in position for my first world championship. I want to thank my team for giving me this huge opportunity. And, most importantly, I want to thank my fans in Canada, the United States and the world who have stuck by me as I’ve awaited this chance to shine in front of a worldwide audience on FOX.”
A two-time Olympian for his home country of Venezuela, Maestre (3-0, 3 KOs) had an extensive amateur run that included victories over Brian Castano, Carlos Adames, Alexander Besputin, Oscar Molina and Brian Ceballo. The 34-year-old turned pro in 2019 with a pair of impressive triumphs, stopping previously unbeaten Jeovanis Barraza before earning a TKO over veteran contender Diego Chaves. August 7 will mark Maestre’s U.S. debut professionally.
“I am very happy to make my U.S. debut on August 7,” said Maestre. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me. I have the chance to show the whole world what class I’m in and that I’m a great boxer. I’m excited to begin this journey in the U.S. on my way to becoming a world champion.”
Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs) has earned a series of eye-catching victories as he has climbed up the ranks from prospect to contender, most recently earning a career-best 12-round decision over Thomas Dulorme in April. The 26-year-old from Lithuania, who now lives and trains in California, looked impressive as he picked up three solid wins in 2019, beating Samuel Figueroa via unanimous decision and scoring early stoppages against Julio Cesar Sanchez and Evincii Dixon. The undefeated welterweight continued to put the division on notice with back-to-back dominating main event performances in November and December 2020, when he notched ninth-round knockouts over Justin DeLoach and Janer Gonzalez respectively.
“I want to prove that I’m going to be the next great welterweight champion, so I know that I have to look impressive and come out victorious against Luis Collazo on August 7,” said Stanionis. “Collazo has faced the best of the best, so this will be a great chance for me to show where I stack up. I always like to bring an exciting fight for the fans, and this fight on FOX is going to be no different.”
An experienced veteran in the welterweight division, Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs) has proven a stiff test over the years for top welterweights such as Keith Thurman, Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Andre Berto and Ricky Hatton, to name a few. The Brooklyn, New York-native was a world champion in 2005 and has sprung upsets on rising contenders with memorable knockouts of Victor Ortiz and Sammy Vasquez. After triumphing over Bryant Perrella in 2018, Collazo defeated Samuel Vargas in March 2019 and most recently lost a technical decision to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov in October 2019.
“I’m eager and excited to be back fighting on FOX,” said Collazo. “As a fighter, we wait for that call letting you know when you’re fighting and I can’t wait for this one. I believe this will be my last outing, so I am going to bring everything I’ve got come August 7.”
Alexander (27-6-1, 14 KOs) makes his return after a June 2019 defeat to Ivan Redkach stunted a previous comeback attempt that saw Alexander go 1-1-1 in fights over a 10-month stretch. Before that stretch, a period of inactivity saw him seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers and eventually prove an inspiration in returning to deliver exciting fights against Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz and Walter Castillo. The St. Louis, Missouri native had an impressive run at super lightweight and unified titles in that division before scoring victories over Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and eventually Randall Bailey to capture a welterweight championship.
“I’m very excited and anxious to get back in there after some time off,” said Alexander. “This fight means everything to me, so I’m going into this fight with my back against the wall. I’m treating this like a world title fight. I have a chip on my shoulder because I know for a fact a lot of people are writing me off. They are about to be in for a big surprise. I can’t wait to regain my footing back in boxing as one of the best in the division. It’s been way too long. Plus, August 7 is my mom’s birthday, so that gives me even extra motivation to get her a win on her birthday.”
Rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis faces his most difficult test in pursuit of a world title shot as he headlines his first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® against former world champion Sergey Lipinets. These formidable contenders meet in a 12-round, crossroads fight with welterweight world title implications on Saturday, April 10 live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, a pair of hard-hitting welterweights square off as Eimantas Stanionis takes another step up in class as he faces former world title challenger Thomas Dulorme in a 12-round WBA Welterweight Title Eliminator. The telecast opener features IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas defending his title against Jonathan Rodríguez in a 12-round bout.
Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) is the latest in the pantheon of outstanding Philadelphia fighters, combining sublime boxing skills with natural power in both hands. After numerous appearances on ShoBox: The New Generation, the 23-year-old Ennis has graduated to headlining his first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast. Heading into his last bout against Chris van Heerden, Ennis was riding a streak of 16 consecutive knockouts. That streak ended when the fight was stopped after the first round due to an accidental clash of heads that opened a severe cut on the forehead of Van Heerden.
“I’m excited to be back April 10,” said Ennis. “This is the type of fight I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait to perform and put on a beautiful show. Y’all will see something special out of me come fight night. I’m excited to be the main event. It’s time for me to shine!”
The 31-year-old Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) established himself as a force at 140 pounds when he won the IBF world title with a victory over Akihiro Kondo in 2017. He lost the title to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in 2018 and then moved up to welterweight in 2019. He served notice that he would be a contender at welterweight when he scored an impressive stoppage victory over two-division champion Lamont Peterson in 2019. Born in Kazakhstan and representing Russia, Lipinets now lives in Woodland Hills, California and is trained by renowned trainer Joe Goossen. Lipinets is coming off a hard-fought majority draw against undefeated Custio Clayton in October 2020.
Stanionis (12-0, 9 KOs) has put together a string of impressive victories as he has climbed up the ranks from prospect to contender. He enters the match against Dulorme with four consecutive knockout victories. The 26-year-old from Lithuania, who now lives and trains in California, looked impressive as he picked up three solid victories in 2019, beating Samuel Figueroa via unanimous decision and scoring early stoppages against Julio Cesar Sanchez and Evincii Dixon. The undefeated welterweight has put the division on notice with back-to-back dominating main event performances in November and December 2020, when he notched ninth-round knockouts over Justin DeLoach and Janer Gonzalez respectively.
The 31-year-old Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) has amassed a solid resume at 140 and 147 pounds during his career, climbing into the ring with world champions Yordenis Ugas, Jessie Vargas and Terence Crawford. Born in Marigot, Guadeloupe but fighting out of and representing Carolina, Puerto Rico, Dulorme rebounded from a loss to Crawford for a 140-pound title by scoring back-to-back knockouts, followed by a narrow decision loss to top welterweight Yordenis Ugas. The world title challenger is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jamal James in his last fight in August.
“I’m very excited for this fight on April 10,” said Dulorme. “I came up short in my last fight for the title, but a win against Stanionis will put me right back into the position I want. He’s young and strong, but I have a lot more experience and I will show it in the ring and it will lead me to victory.”
Representing the Philippines, Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs) was only 15 years old when he was spotted by boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. The young fighter blossomed with Pacquiao’s guidance, becoming the first world champion under Pacquiao’s promotional banner when he outpointed McJoe Arroyo for the IBF World Junior Bantamweight title in September 2016. The 29-year-old southpaw hasn’t lost since and will be making the ninth defense of his title when he faces Rodríguez. In his most recent outing in December, Ancajas stopped Miguel Gonzalez in six rounds.
“I am really looking forward to returning to the ring on April 10 for my first fight on SHOWTIME,” said Ancajas. “Everybody knows the great rivalry between the Philippines and Mexico, and I look forward to adding another explosive fight to that history. Fight fans know where all the action fights are right now, and that’s the 115-pound division. I’m thankful for this opportunity and I plan to make the most of it.”
Mexico’s Rodríguez (22-1, 16 KOs) was given the nickname “Titan” because of his prodigious power. Since suffering a disputed split-decision loss to Jose Martin Estrada Garcia in March 2018, the 25-year-old has won six straight, including a first-round knockout victory over Julian Yedras last December. He will be making his U.S. debut against Ancajas.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Rodríguez. “When I started boxing, it was my dream to fight for the world title and win it. On April 10, all of my dreams and hard work will come true when I hear ‘and the new IBF champion of the world.’”