Gabriel Maestre W12 Mychal Fox...
A shocking example of boxing corruption, even by the WBA's sewer-worthy standards, took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday as part of the PBC on Fox broadcast. In a fight for the WBA interim welterweight title, the WBA appointed the wife of one of its executives to judge the fight, and it appears that Gloria Martinez-Rizzo
did everything in her power to make sure Gabriel Maestre was awarded the title belt. Rizzo, along with two other judges, turned what easily should have been a career-changing win for American Mychal Fox into a contemptible unanimous decision win for Maestre. Maestre, like WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. is from Venezuela. Rizzo, is married to Ricardo Rizzo, a boyhood friend of Mendoza's who often does business with the WBA. Adding to the outrage, racist tweets from Martinez-Rizzo are beginning to surface. For example, Martinez-Rizzo referred to former first lady Michelle Obama as a "monkey face" in August 2020. Obama, like Fox, is African American. Martinez-Rizzo also once tweeted that Lebron James should "go back to the stable."
After twelve rounds in which Fox knocked down Maestre and won a clear majority of the rounds, all three judges scored the fight in favor of Maestre by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 117-110. The 117-110 scorecard (ten rounds to two for Maestre) belonged to Martinez-Rizzo. The question for the WBA and its leadership is: what are you going to do about this?
The 114-113 card was turned in by David Singh, who was brought in from Panama by the WBA to judge this fight. The WBA, although its roots are in Venezuela, moved to Panama to escape Venezuela as it descended into political chaos. Singh has never before judged a fight in the contintenal United States, so what was the need to bring him in for this fight?
The third judge, John Mariano, who authored the 115-112 card, is from Minnesota.
Fox was in disbelief at the judges’ scores. "I was stunned by the decision,” said Fox. “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."
While Fox accepted his fate with class and dignity, other boxing insdiers were outraged. Promoter Lou DiBella tweeted: "There should be a federal investigation of boxing and the WBA that begins on Monday. That was a twelve-point win for Fox !!!!! And EVERYONE in boxing in the know saw this coming. Boxing is corrupt and disgusting with a rigged system of ratings and governance. Enough is enough!"
OFFICIAL PBC REPORT ON THE FIGHT (pretending there was no major controversey): In the co-main event two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs) won a close unanimous decision over Mykal Fox (22-3, 5 KOs) to capture the Interim WBA Welterweight Title.
Maestre was able to recover from an early knockdown in round two that Fox scored with a blistering counter left hand that Maestre never saw coming.
"When I was knocked down, I didn't see the punch coming,” said Maestre. “He didn't really hurt me though so it was no problem to get up and keep going.”
The unbeaten Maestre was able to work his way back into the fight through the middle rounds with consistent activity as he chased the elusive Fox around the ring. The aggression led to a 119 to 108 advantage for Maestre in power punches landed, despite Fox holding an overall edge in punches landed with 157 to 131.
"The strategy was just to keep fighting him for 12 rounds,” said Maestre. “I just wanted to stay close to him and make sure I kept throwing punches. Fox definitely surprised me. He was a very good boxer. I think the key was that I was throwing multiple punches and combinations. That was the strategy from start to finish.”
Fox appeared to turn the tide in the later rounds, pot-shotting Maestre effectively as he continued to circle the ring while holding smartly to slow any offensive momentum his opponent gained.
After 12 rounds the judges all saw the fight in favor of Maestre by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 117-110. Fox was in disbelief at the judges’ scores post-fight, while Maestre declared he was willing to give Fox a rematch.
"I was stunned by the decision,” said Fox. “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."
"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."