Mykal Fox will have to settle for a second fight in search of a win that should have come the first time around.

The World Boxing Association (WBA) has ordered an immediate rematch between Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre (4-0, 3KOs) and Maryland’s Fox (22-3, 5KOs), the sanctioning body announced on Tuesday. The need for a second fight stems from the controversial outcome of their August 7 meeting, in which Maestre was handed an unpopular twelve-round unanimous decision win in their Fox TV welterweight fight at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Judges David Singh (114-113), John Mariano (115-112) and Gloria Martinez-Rizzo (117-110) awarded the fight to Maestre in a fight most viewers felt Fox not only deserved to win, but by as much as the most extreme score awarded to his opponent. An interim version of the WBA welterweight title was at stake, prompting Marshall Kauffman, head of King’s Promotion and Fox’s promoter to contact the sanctioning body to request an immediate rematch.

“The resolution issued on Tuesday by the pioneer body highlights that there are enough elements to order a direct rematch as requested by Marshall Kauffman, Fox’s promoter,” stated the WBA in an official statement published on its website. “The fight was close and controversial with Maestre winning on cards of 114-114, 115-112 and 117-110. “The WBA reviewed the fight round by round as per rule C.26 and determined that it was close enough to order a second bout between the two.”

Per WBA rule C.26 covering contested decisions in championship contests, “a bout decision may be contested by a boxer if within ten (10) days of the decision the boxer submits payment of a $10,000.00 fee, and the following:

a)     A concise statement by the boxer or his authorized agent setting forth the grounds on which the challenge has been brought, arguments and authority in support, and identification of other persons with a material interest likely to be affected by a decision on the challenge.

b)     For the person filing the challenge, the following information: • A postal address; • An email address (if one exists); • A facsimile address; • A telephone number; and • A signature of the boxer on whose behalf the challenge is filed.

c)     If the challenge is signed by someone other than a boxer, a certified statement of authorization by the boxer to file the challenge.

“For good cause, the President may waive all or part of the fee. The fee must be paid by certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer, and will not be set off against any amount claimed due by the party contesting the decisions. The Committee may request that the International Officials Committee, or a special officials committee, evaluate the fight and give their opinion and recommendations to the Committee. The Championship Committee, in its sole discretion, may order the boxers fight a rematch. Failure to timely pay the fee or contest the decision shall waive any and all right, claim, or argument of the boxer or his representatives to contest a decision.

The two sides will have 30 days to negotiate terms to avoid a purse bid hearing.

In a previous announcement, the WBA has vowed that the bout’s outcome will be subject to an independent investigation, with each of the three judges to be separately interviewed.

Judge Martinez-Rizzo has recently come under fire, beginning with her awful scorecard and followed by a documented exposure of her blatant racism towards African-Americans and her extreme political views.

Fox—an African-American boxer—accepted the fight on short notice, replacing Canada’s Cody Crowley who tested positive for Covid.

The WBA has yet to comment on judge Martinez-Rizzo, despite repeatedly being made aware of her sordid history.

Representatives from Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)—who presented the August 7 event and represents both boxers—have yet to comment on any aspect of the fight other than referencing that Maestre won a close decision.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox