WBA orders Fox-Maestre rematch

The WBA has ordered an immediate rematch been Maryland’s luckless Mykal Fox and its ‘Interim’ welterweight champion Gabriel Maestre following the highly controversial decision in favour of the Venezuelan in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Late-substitute Fox scored a knockdown and appeared to win with something to spare, but the Latin American sanctioning body’s three judges all scored for Maestre with Gloria Martinez-Rizzo’s inexplicable 117-110 card sparking derision and anger.

It was the latest in a series of high-profile blunders from the organisation that has a minimum of three world champions in boxing’s 17 weight divisions, each bringing in a sanctioning fee to bolster its coffers.

“The resolution issued on Tuesday by the pioneer [sic] body highlights that there are enough elements to order a direct rematch as requested by Marshall Kauffman, Fox’s promoter,” chimed the WBA on its website.

“The fight was close and controversial with Maestre winning on cards of 114-114, 115-112 and 117-110. The WBA reviewed the fight round-by-round as per rule C.26 and determined that it was close enough to order a second bout between the two.”

The teams of Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs) and Fox (22-3, 5 KOs) now have 30 days to negotiate before the rematch heads to purse bids.

The WBA previously stated that the decision will be independently investigated with all three judges interviewed on a one-on-one basis. Judge Martinez-Rizzo has subsequently come under fire for her social media history that holds some extreme views and does not indicate the standards and impartiality one would expect of a high-level boxing judge.

UPDATE: Martinez-Rizzo has since been suspended by the WBA for six months for her scorecard and social media history.

Main image: Fox (right) appeared to handily outbox Maestre. Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions.