On one hand, Reymart Gaballo got a win in an unexpected Showtime main event on Saturday night, picking up the W over former world titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez.
On the other hand, basically nobody thinks he deserves it.
Gaballo took a split decision victory over Rodriguez on scores of 115-113 and 116-112 from judges John McKaie and Don Trella, respectively, while Rodriguez won the third card from judge David Sutherland on a tally of 118-110.
Showtime scorer Steve Farhood also had it 118-110 for Rodriguez (19-2, 12 KO), who loses his second straight. Bad Left Hook watched the fight this morning, but not live obviously as our focus last night was on Canelo Alvarez’s win over Callum Smith. That does make a difference, as does having the knowledge going in that a lot of people felt Rodriguez, 28, was robbed. in the fight. It changes expectations. That said, we had the fight 118-110 Rodriguez, too, for what it’s worth.
Showtime analyst and former world titleholder Raul Marquez said, “There’s no way Gaballo could have won that fight. In the worst-case scenario, you could have maybe given him three rounds. I gave him no rounds.”
“I am very happy and blessed to win this belt,” said the 24-year-old Gaballo (24-0, 20 KO). “I was always moving forward and controlling the pace, so I thought it was a close fight that either of us could have won. I’m waiting for my team to tell me what they have planned for me next. I’m going to keep training hard so I’m always ready for the opportunity when it comes.”
“It was a good fight, but he only won about two or three rounds,” said Rodriguez. “There were two punches from me for every punch he landed. He knows he lost. Everyone knows we won. My team told me to go out and keep boxing him in the late rounds. We knew he needed a knockout in the 12th round. That was his only chance to win.”
A rematch wouldn’t be unwarranted at all, but this isn’t the type of fight where Rodriguez would have a rematch clause to exercise. Since it was for the interim WBC bantamweight title, the sanctioning body could order one, in theory, though Gaballo wouldn’t have to take it or anything.
In the co-feature, Jaron “Boots” Ennis (26-0, 24 KO) and Chris van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KO) left with the same records they had coming in, as their welterweight bout ended in the first round when the veteran van Heerden was cut on a nasty clash of heads:
Oh, man ... a clash of heads between @JaronEnnis & @TheHeat001 leads to a big cut and a no decision. #RodriguezGaballo pic.twitter.com/Q5rDgwuYXs— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 20, 2020
“Before the headbutt I had already cut him and I felt strong,” said a disappointed Ennis. “I knew he was ready to go. I feel like I’m getting better and better. Now I’ll just get back in the gym. As you could see from the first round, I was handling him easily. I feel like everyone is still sleeping on me, but I’m ready for anyone. Bring on the big names.”
The opening bout of the evening saw another fight end on an accidental headbutt, but that one at least got to go to the cards, and bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell improved to 18-0 (12 KO) with a technical decision win over former titlist Juan Carlos Payano (21-5, 9 KO). Scores were 58-56, 59-55, and 59-55 for Russell, the 27-year-old brother of featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr.
This was really a good fight while it lasted, and some may be surprised by the strong showing from Russell, who has never exactly been a blue chipper or anything. This win puts him on the radar at 118 for sure.