Fox on loss to Maestre: ‘I was stunned by the decision’

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

Maestre to battle Mykal Fox after Crowley withdraws due to COVID-19

Welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis will square off against former world champion Luis Collazo in a 10-round duel that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 7 from The Armory in Minneapolis.

FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features unbeaten welterweight and two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre battling Mykal Fox for the Interim WBA Welterweight Title in the co-main event. 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.

Maestre was originally scheduled to face fellow unbeaten Cody Crowley, who was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test.

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.

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.

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.

Fighting out of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Fox (22-2, 5 KOs) towers at nearly six-feet-four-inches tall and has used his length and excellent boxing ability during his pro career that dates back to 2014. The 25-year-old bounced back from a 2019 loss to Shohjahon Ergashev to win his next three outings. In his most recent fight, Fox lost a close decision to Luke Santamaria in August 2020.

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.

The 32-year-old Santamaría (11-2-1, 7 KOs) steps into the ring to make his FOX debut after dropping a decision to top welterweight prospect Paul Kroll last October. Santamaria had previously scored an August triumph over veteran contender Mykal Fox that saw him drop Fox in round one of their battle on FS1. The Garden Grove, California native also owns a decision over Willie Jones and a split draw against Marquis Taylor in his 2019 contests. Santamaría was unbeaten in 10 fights since his first loss before facing Kroll, with his only other defeat coming via a four-round decision in his third pro bout in 2015.