Last night on July 2nd, the WBA Featherweight title was on the line in a fight between titlist Jonathan Victor Barros and former P4P contender Celestino Caballero, taking place in Argentina. Although the fallout from the disappointing Haye vs Klitschko fight dominated boxing news, I couldn't help but take interest in the reports of Caballero being robbed in this fight, and decided to give it a watch.
Barros vs Caballero Round 1
Caballero bears a smirk as the fighters touch gloves. The bell rings and Caballero is aggressively throwing jabs. Barros is looking to counter the lunging jabs, and may have some openings as the fight progresses. Caballero lunges in and throws a right uppercut that drops Barros! That was a beauty! Caballero raises his hand as Barros jumps back up to his feet. Caballero is attacking the body with wide hooks and straight rights. Barros does not look comfortable! A straight right lands flush on the face of Barros. Another uppercut backs up Barros. As the round ends, Barros throws a wild barrage and taunts Caballero.
Barros vs Caballero Round 2
Barros is keen on throwing a left hook to the head of Caballero. He has to figure out Caballero's reach, as the jab is dictating this fight. Barros is much more aggressive in this round, effectively changing angles and doing a little body work. Outside of a few straight rights, Caballero was not very active in this round.
Barros vs Caballero Round 3
Barros targeting the body and clinching more. Caballero takes a punch to the back of the head, the third from Barros. Caballero fires looping rights to the body. Much more clinching in this round. Another blatant punch to the back of the head from Barros, although Caballero isn't helping by turning his head away as they clinch. Referee warns Barros. Tough round to score. Barros was definitely busier but Caballero landed better.
Barros vs Caballero Round 4
Barros tags Caballero with a left hook. Rabbit punch by Barros as they clinch. They exchange wild punches that seem to only find air. Boy this is quickly devolving into a clumsy clinch-fest. Caballero's jab has disappeared. Good straight left counter from Barros. Yet another shot to the back of the head from Barros, and the referee warns both fighters (I'm assuming Caballero for turning his head away from Barros). Finally the fight heats up and down goes Caballero, but the referee rules it a slip!
Barros vs Caballero Round 5
Caballero's jab is back. Barros pushes Caballero back with a wide left hook and jab. They tangle and exchange punches to each others' side and back. Caballero is throwing straight rights from afar and Barros sees them a mile away. Good uppercut by Barros. Caballero has likely landed more punches to the back of Barros than anywhere else. This is a fairly ugly fight as neither man is really landing clean. Caballero refuses to use the jab to establish power shots and Barros is committed to the punch and tie-up strategy.
Barros vs Caballero Round 6
Much more active round, if still awkward and ugly. Caballero throwing with much more conviction. Not many clean punches are landed from distance, but Caballero is having success inside. Good right by Caballero. Their feet tangle as Caballero threw a left and Barros' gloves touch the mat. Referee rules it a slip. Caballero takes this round.
Barros vs Caballero Round 7
Good straight right from Barros backs Caballero into the ropes. Much slower pace here. Barros with a nice 1-2. Caballero is back to flinging those awful looking punches to the body. Barros basically throws two punches, and Caballero is countering them. Just as I type that he eats a left. Barros targeting the back of the head again, he should have been deducted a point 10 rabbit punches ago. Hey, a decent flurry to the end the round! Barros landed the best punch there with a right hook.
Barros vs Caballero Round 8
Barros nearly nailed Caballero with an uppercut. More clinching, another rabbit punch by Barros. Caballero is not protecting his head much and Barros is landing pattering jabs. Rabbit punch. Caballero catches Barros coming in with a left. Caballero is finally controlling the distance with a jab and better timing.
Barros vs Caballero Round 9
Caballero with a good uppercut and its clear that Barros does not have answer for the jab. Barros lands that wide left hook but Caballero is unaffected. They tangle up, both hopping on one leg and Caballero downs Barros with a right! Man, that knockdown sums up this fight well. Barros is up and fine. Barros throwing and clinching. Caballero with a nice uppercut and the round closes.
Barros vs Caballero Round 10
Caballero is finding a home for the left counter. Another ridiculously blatant punch to the back of the head by Barros, we're clearly heading into Froch/Dirrell territory here. Ugly round that is tough to score...as terrible as those body shots look, at least Caballero landed several of them.
Barros vs Caballero Round 11
Boy I can sure go without ever seeing these two again. Hey, there's a good left by Barros! And a punch to the back of the head! Ah, nothing does change. More body hooks from Caballero, who is dictating the offense in this round. A little blood is seeping from the lips of Caballero.
Barros vs Caballero Round 12
This crowd is so desperate for something interesting to happen that they cheer when Barros lands an early jab. The loyal audience continues to cheer Barros, which really does say something about their commitment to the hometown fighter in the midst of this bowling shoe ugly fight. The round ends and Barros has the gall to stand on the turnbuckle and excitedly wave to the crowd. The tv stations replays the best action of the round, which was a left jab from Barros followed by a headlock.
In my view, Celestino Caballero won a clear but ugly decision. This fight said little positive about each fighter, with Barros clinching and fouling at a ridiculous rate and Caballero throwing some heinous looking punches with little power. The 116-110 card and terrible refereeing are the biggest stains of this hometown decision.