Florida - Before a sold out crowd at the Full Sail Live at Full Sail University in Orlando, Juan Carlos "Baby Pacquiao" Payano (17-0, 8 KOs) won a twelve round split decision over previously undefeated Rau'shee "Nuke" Warren (13-1, 4 KOs) to retain the WBA bantamweight title and capture the vacant IBO bantamweight title. The scores were 113-111 for Payano, 115-109 for Warren and 113-111 for Payano. Warren holds a win over Payano in the amateur ranks.
Many at ringside felt the outcome was controversial with Warren doing more than enough to grab the win. While other saw the activity of Payano as the defining factor. Warren losing two points for a foul in the ninth round played a big role in the scoring.
The fight headlined the debut edition of PBC [Premier Boxing Champions]: The Next Round On Bounce TV. This was Payano's first defense after winning title via a September technical decision over longtime champion Chemito Moreno.
The fight started very quickly with both fighters throwing at a rapid pace. Warren, with few knockouts on his record, was throwing punches with bad intentions. In the third round Payano lost a point for rabbit punching. The action ugly at times and very close. Both fighters had their moments in the first half and neither seemed to badly hurt the other.
During the ninth, Warren lost two points for what the referee felt was an intentional foul for pushing Payano down to the mat. There was a brief timeout called to check on a cut around the right eye of Payano. The eye was swelling up bad and a decent flow of blood was coming down. When time was called back in, Warren was letting hands go on Payano, who seemed to be a bit spent.
Warren was coming on as the fight continued, hoping to get back some of those lost points. He did the trick in the twelfth and final round, finishing strong by scoring a knockdown on Payano.