Until about two weeks ago, Emmanuel Rodriguez wasn’t even expecting to fight Reymart Gaballo.

There now comes a likely scenario where he can wind up facing the unbeaten Filipino for a second straight time.

The former bantamweight titlist plans to officially appeal the outcome of their 12-round interim title fight Saturday evening at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Rodriguez was deemed to have won the fight with room to spare according to home viewers and the Showtime broadcast team, only to be dealt a highly questionable 12-round split decision defeat to Gaballo in their main event.

Judge David Sutherland scored the interim title fight 118-110 in favor of Rodriguez, which was in line with most viewers as well as the broadcast. Judges Don Trella and John McKaie appeared to have awarded Gaballo’s busier workrate, scoring the contest 116-112 and 115-113, respectively for the General Santos City product.

“It was a good fight but honestly, there’s no way he won more than three rounds,” Rodriguez told BoxingScene.com. “Look at the fight, and you’ll see I’m landing two punches to his one.”

Compubox final numbers don’t quite play out to that extreme, although Rodriguez was by far the more accurate and effective puncher, both statistically and to the naked eye. The Puerto Rican bantamweight landed 109-of-372 punches (29%), compared to 93-of-520 (18%) for Gaballo, who didn’t pick up steam until the second half of the fight.

In the end, it was ineffective aggression which managed to get the job down at the crowdless venue at least according to judges McKaie and Trella.

Whether or not the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation will agree is another story.

At stake in the fight was the World Boxing Council (WBC) interim bantamweight title, which was to ensure the winner a shot at reigning champ Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12KOs). The slotted main event began with Oubaali due to defend versus Nonito Donaire, only for both sides to pull out due to testing positive for COVID-19 some three weeks apart.

The controversial win by Gaballo would, theoretically, leave him next in line to challenge for the main title. Rodriguez—who for now is sitting on consecutive losses—plans to have something to say about that.

“We are going to appeal this decision,” insists Rodriguez, who ended a 19-month inactive stretch following a title-losing 2nd round stoppage to Naoya Inoue last May in Glasgow, Scotland. “Everyone knows that we won the fight. This is so bad for boxing. We can’t have this decision that we know we won. We outfought him for 12 rounds.

“It never should have come down to this. I won the fight and we will appeal this outcome.”

While judges have been disciplined for poor scorecards in the past, an overturned verdict is extremely rare barring a scoring error. The more likely scenario will come in a ruling from the WBC which could keep Rodriguez in the title hunt, whether in a straightaway rematch with Gaballo (24-0, 20KOs) or involved in a four-man tournament involving Gaballo, Oubaali and Donaire, the latter whom remains the mandatory challenger.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox