Dennis Taylor

Team Caballero will protest split-decision loss

Representatives for Celestino Caballero intend to file an official protest with the World Boxing Association and demand an immediate rematch with featherweight champion Jonathon Barros in the wake of a controversial, split-decision loss Saturday in Argentina.

Judges in Barros' home country awarded the fight to the defending champion with scorecards of 114-112 and 116-112, despite the fact that Caballero scored two knockdowns and appeared to control several rounds. A third judge saw Caballero as a 115-111 winner.

"We are going to ask the WBA to order an immediate rematch since the decision was controversial," said Rogelio Espino, a legal adviser to Caballero, in an interview with reporter Adam Grace Esmenjaud for Boxing Scene. "It was an outright theft."

WBA vice president Gilberto Mendoza said the sanctioning body will review the fight, then issue a ruling on the protest.

"We evaluate all world championship fights to keep track of our officers," Mendoza said. "This will be studied and then we'll discuss the matter because it was a split decision. You don't automatically order a rematch because it was ruled a split decision."

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