Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo - WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (25-0, 15 KOs) won what some felt was a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Israel Gonzalez (23-3, 10 KOs). The scores were 117-111, 116-112, 116-112.
Yafai saw action in May when he demolished David Carmona with four knockdowns on pace to a seventh round stoppage win in his third defense of the belt. Yafai captured the vacant title in December of 2016.
Gonzalez challenged IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas in February. He was dropped three times and stopped in the tenth. He then picked up a pair of wins over two fighters with losing records, in May and August.
The performance doesn't do any favors for Yafai, who struggled to beat an opponent who was dominated and knocked out by Ancajas.
Gonzalez was holding his own very well in the early rounds, with a high tempo and high pace. Yafai started off a bit slow and was targeting the body in the early going.
Yafai was having trouble finding his range and was missing his punches with wild swings.
Gonzalez was boxing well and doing more work. There was a clash of heads that opened up a cut on Gonzalez in the fifth round. Yafai was applying more pressure with body shots in the sixth and was picking up the pressure in the seventh.
Gonzalez was doing more work, but Yafai was landing the harder punches with better accuracy. Yafai was looking for bigger punches in the ninth and tenth. Every time Yafai would let loose with a big shot, then Gonzalez with react with a flurry to counter the punch.
Yafai was digging hard to the body in the tenth and Gonzalez was feeling the shots and looking to stay away. Gonzalez was keeping things on an even level in the eleventh, with Yafai doing his best to close the show in the twelfth.