By Mark Vester
At the Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City, Panama, WBO/WBA super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero (32-2, 22KOs) won a hard-fought split decision over Jeffrey Mathebula (22-2-2, 12KOs) of South Africa. The scores were 116-112, 116-112 for Caballero and 116-112 for Mathebula.
Maybe Caballero overlooked Mathebula or maybe Mathebula was tougher than many expected. Caballero looked good in the early rounds but as the fight went on, he seemed to fall apart and Mathebula took over the fight with a higher workrate. Caballero seemed to tire down the stretch. There may be a question on how well he trained for this fight or how serious he took Mathebula.
The next stop is a possible fight with undefeated WBA interim-featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (15-0, 13KOs). There are talks for a tentative fight in September.
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