By Jake Donovan
A shocker of a result comes out of Panama City, as Robinson Castellanos managed an upset split decision win over a comebacking Celestino Caballero in their featherweight title fight Saturday evening.
Scores were 114-113 for each on two cards, and 115-112 Castellanos on the third card.
The tone was set early as Caballero - fighting for the first time in 16 months - was floored in the opening round. The lanky featherweight spent most of the rest of the night attempting to take the lead, but the opening round folly proved to be the difference in a close affair throughout the featherweight title fight.
Castellanos has now won ten straight, though none bigger than this as he improves to 18-9 (11KO).
The loss is just the latest setback in the up-and-down career of Caballero, who falls to 38-5 (23KO). The bout was his first since New Year's Eve 2011, when he defeated Satoshi Hosono on the road in Japan.
A career full of promise was instead plagued by inactivity and refusal by featherweight peers to jump in the ring with him.
Caballero spent most of his alphabet reigns at 122 and 126 chasing after Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez (the latter scoring a knockout in Mexico earlier Saturday evening). This result, coupled with his advanced age (approaching 37 in June), results in perhaps the very wrong time to go back to the drawing board.
Former flyweight titlist Luis Concepcion recovered from one knockdown to score three of his own in a 6th round stoppage of Anuar Salas in the televised co-feature. Concepcion hit the deck in the third round, but put the Colombian journeyman down in round one and twice more in the deciding sixth round to force the early ending.
The win marks five straight for Concepcion, who improves to 28-3 (21KO). The former flyweight champ is best remembered for multi-knockdown 11th round knockout loss to Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez in one of the best fights of 2011. Their October '11 rematch wasn't quite as fun, as he was drilled inside of a round.
Salas snaps a five-fight win streak of his own as he falls to 13-2 (10KO).
Alicia Ashely made the fist defense of his alphabet belt with a 10-round decision win over Chavalle Martinez. Scores were 96-94 (twice) and 97-93.
Zapir Rasulov (26-0, 23KO) was forced to take on a rare long night's work, settling for a 10-round decision win over Devis Perez (18-9-4, 8KO) in their super welterweight bout. Scores were 97-93 and 99-91 (twice) in favor Rasulov, who scored 13 straight knockouts heading into the fight.
Former title challenger Rafael Concepcion (17-6-1, 8KO) scored three official knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over Alejandro Corrales (9-14-2, 5KO). Scores were 57-54 (twice) and 59-52.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox