Gabriel Maestre was the favorite heading into his PBC on Fox main event, but a last-second glove issue snowballed into problems against Mykal Fox.
Gabriel Maestre is a two-time boxing Olympian that was on the fast track to a world title shot, but illegal glove taping before his main event against Mykal Fox should have led to his first defeat.
However, the judges botched the decision and gave it to Maestre who didn’t deserve to win.
Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs), 34, originally from Venezuela, represented Venezuela at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He was an amateur standout and turned pro late in life at 32 years old. He met tall welterweight Mykal Fox on the Saturday, Aug. 7, PBC on Fox card at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Things went wrong for Maestre before the opening bell.
When Maestre and Fox came to the center of the ring for the referee’s instructions, Fox’s father and trainer Troy Fox pointed out that the tape on the outside of Maestre’s gloves was too high. Referee Mark Nelson immediately jumped into action.
Nelson went with Maestre to his corner and questioned who signed off on Maestre’s gloves. He forced the tape to be removed which revealed the glove laces placed high up on the wrist of the gloves.
The judges saved Gabriel Maestre who tried to cheat with an illegal tape job on his gloves, and they robbed Mykal Fox of a win
Commentator and master boxing trainer Joe Goossen pointed out that this is an illegal tape job called skinning the gloves. The idea is to pull the laces tight and high on the wrist to bring the top of the gloves closer to the knuckles inside.
Maestre’s gloves were corrected and re-taped. It might have thrown him off his game. Fox floored Maestre in round 2 with a straight left. Things never smoothed out for Maestre.
Fox’s 6-foot-3 frame and long arms were a problem for Maestre all night. Fox (22-3, 5 KOs), 25, from Maryland, boxed well on the outside and scored well using his reach.
The fight went the full 12 rounds, and the judges shockingly returned scores of 114-113, 115-112, and 117-110 all for Maestre. It was an awful decision that should receive much scrutiny in the coming days.
It goes down as a loss for Fox, but most who watched the fight saw Fox as the clear winner. Fox was robbed.
The only thing that went right for Maestre against Fox was the inexplicable scoring by the judges. Maestre is now the interim WBA welterweight champion, but this bout badly damaged his reputation. On this night, cheaters prospered and it turned off boxing fans en masse.