WBA Orders Rematch Between Gabriel Maestre, Mykal Fox After Controversial Decision

Mykal Fox is getting a second chance for a win against Gabriel Maestre, which many boxing fans have argued should have happened in the first place.

The World Boxing Association (WBA) ordered an immediate rematch between Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs) and Fox (22-3, 5 KOs), the sanctioning body announced on Tuesday. Maestre was awarded the unanimous decision win in their August 7 welterweight bout, but critics quickly took to social media, disputing the outcome and called for an investigation into the fight as well as the WBA.

On Saturday, the official scores of the fight showed 117-110 (Gloria Martinez Rizzo), 115-112 (John Mariano) and 114-113 (David Singh) — all in favor for Maestre.

“The resolution issued on Tuesday by the pioneer body highlights that there are enough elements to order a direct rematch as requested by Marshall Kauffman, Fox’s promoter,” The WBA stated in an official statement 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 WBA rule C.26, which covers contested decisions in championship contests, says “a bout decision may be contested by a boxer if within ten (10) days of the decision the boxer submits payment of a $10,000.00 fee, and the following:

a)     A concise statement by the boxer or his authorized agent setting forth the grounds on which the challenge has been brought, arguments and authority in support, and identification of other persons with a material interest likely to be affected by a decision on the challenge. 

b)     For the person filing the challenge, the following information: • A postal address; • An email address (if one exists); • A facsimile address; • A telephone number; and • A signature of the boxer on whose behalf the challenge is filed. 

c)     If the challenge is signed by someone other than a boxer, a certified statement of authorization by the boxer to file the challenge.

Per the rule, the president may waive all or part of the fee. It must be paid by certified or casher’s check or wire transfer. The committee may request that the International Officials Committee, or a special officials committee, evaluate the fight and give their opinion.  

A rematch may be ordered, it added.

Failure to timely pay the fee or contest the decision shall waive any and all right, claim, or argument of the boxer or his representatives to contest a decision.

Both sides have 30 days to negotiate terms to avoid a purse bid hearing.

On Monday, judge Rizzo – whose scorecard leaned most in favor of Maestre — received backlash after BoxingScene discovered past racist tweets. She has since deleted her Twitter account. Fox, a Black American boxer, responded, “I was never gonna win on her card.”

The WBA said the three judges will be separately interviewed.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza said the sanctioning body will cut back the number of title fights due to financial issues. It may eliminate regular and interim belts in each division and instead prioritize its gold belts.

“… I’m saying this with my feet on the ground and after assessing financials, after assessing the situation and all the controversies,” Mendoza said.

Following the news of the ordered rematch, Fox retweeted a tweet that said “We don’t need to see it again.”

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