by Jhonny Gonzalez
Polideportivo La Colonia, Mendoza, Argentina - Jonathan Barros (33-1, 18KOs) won a twelve round split decision over mandatory challenger Celestino Caballero (34-4, 23KOs) to retain the WBA featherweight title. The scores were 114-112 and 116-111 for Barros and 115-111 for Caballero. The announcers in Argentina were schocked at what may have been a hometown decision. Barros was down twice in the fight.
Barros not taking a step back in the first round and actually willing to trade big punches but got caught and put down. In the second, Barros was trying to land homerun punches with some very wild swings that were missing by a mile.
In the third, Caballero was fighting more cautious than usual and picking his opportunities to throw. Barros was able to land a few good punches.
Barros was running wild in the fourth. caballero was not busy enough and getting hit with quick punches. In the fifth, the punches were flying from both boxers. They were throwing a lot of shots, with few landing for either but Barros was catching Caballero coming in with a few.
There were trading more punches in the sixth round with Barros getting the upper hand. Caballero began to get much busier and more willing to fight toe to toe in the seventh round.
Caballero was coming on in the eight with his busier pace. In the ninth he landed a counter-hook to put Barros down to his knees for a second knockdown. Barros seemed fine once he beat the count and took the fight to Caballero as they traded punches.
Barros was looking for one big punch in the tenth round. Not much was coming back in return from Caballero but he was able catch Barros with a few counters that were well timed.
Caballero was in full control of the eleventh round. He was landing counters, and hurting Barros against the ropes. Barros was staging a rally in the twelfth round with Cabllero fighting him off. The home crowd was on their feet, cheeing Barros on but he couldn't land a damaging blow on Caballero.