By Jhonny Gonzalez
Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Argentina - Celestino Caballero (35-4, 23KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Jonathan Barros (33-2-1, 18KOs) to capture the WBA's "regular" featherweight title.
After a cautious first round with caballero applying the pressure, they started trading power punches in the second. Nothing connected solid for either boxer, but it looked good for the crowd. Barros let his hands go in the third and stood on the inside trading big blows to the body. Caballero's punches were very wide and he was missing a lot more than he was landing.
In the fourth, more punches were flying and landing from the fists of Barros. The fifth round was very strong for Caballero. Barros was landing very good punches to the head, but he got too brave and left himself open for a big counter and he was hurt for most of the final minute. He survived the moment and started fighting back in the final ten seconds.
Caballero had a small edge to win the sixth and seventh rounds. Barros was putting together some very nice punches in the first minute of the eight round. Caballero was taking every punch Barros was able to land, but the champion outlanded and outworked him for most of the three minutes.
An exicting eight was followed by a slow-paced ninth. It was close action. A lot of holding by Barros on the inside. After a close tenth, Caballero once again hurt Barros in the eleventh. The action was stopped when Barros lost his mouthpiece and it gave him some time to recover. He was taking more punishment soon after and lost his mouthpiece again, which once again gave him more time to recover. The few seconds that remained, Caballero was trying to finish him off but couldn't do so.
A sloppy twelfth and final round. Both boxers were sloppy with their punches. Most of the final three minutes were filled with missed punches and holding.
The fight was a rematch of their July meeting, which Barros won with a controversial twelve round split decision. After Caballero's handlers filed a protest, the WBA ordered an immediate rematch. In their first meeting, Caballero had Barros down in the first and the ninth.