LAS VEGAS — Jason Litzau scored the most-significant victory of his career with a split decision over heavily favored Celestino Caballero in a 10-round junior lightweight bout on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Michael Katsidis fight Saturday.
Litzau (28-2, 21 knockouts), of St. Paul, Minn., won by scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 94-96. The fight was close and both fighters landed their share of hard power punches, but Litzau, a career featherweight and junior lightweight, was the aggressor in the majority of rounds.
Caballero, who was as high as a 15-to-1 favorite, did not look nearly as formidable against Litzau as he did against the top junior featherweights he has defeated.
The nearly 6-foot Panamanian, fighting at 130 pounds, by far the heaviest of his career, had a hard time dealing with an opponent who was as tall and rangy as he is.
Caballero said the loss had nothing to do with Litzau’s height and reach and everything to do with the weight.
“I was felling too heavy, and I couldn’t move my feet,” Caballero said. “Litzau used illegal punches (to the back of the head) to measure me. All he did was run. I won the fight.”
Caballero’s opinion won’t help him land the featherweight showdowns with Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez that he has been lobbying for.