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