UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois - In a showdown for the IBO/WBA bantamweight world titles, three-time Olympian Rau'shee Warren (14-1, 4KOs) made good on his dream to capture a world title with a twelve round majority decision over previously unbeaten Juan Carlos Payano (17-1, 8KOs). The scores were 114-114, 115-113, 115-113.
The fight was a rematch of last August's showdown at the Full Sail Arena in Winter Park, Florida. It ended in a controversial twelve round split decision win for Payano. The scores in that fight were 113-111 twice for Payano and 115-109 for Warren. Payano was knocked down in the 12th round. The fight was also very dirty - the referee deducted one point from Payano in the 3rd round, and two points from Warren in the 9th round.
At the start of the rematch, Warren's hand speed was on display, as he shot off very good punches to outbox the champion. Payano was trying to make it more of a rough fight in the second, with Warren standing his ground to fight when needed. Payano continued to get troubled with the speed in the third and was trying to make it an inside fight as Warren was too elusive on the outside.
Warren took the fight to Payano at the start of the fourth, throwing several combinations to back the champion up. Payano fought back with both boxers trading shots at close range. Payano was starting to dig shots to the body to slow Warren down. Payano was starting to land some very good shots in the fifth and sixth, with Warren using less of his jab and not moving as much to get away. But Warren was still landing some very clean counters in return.
They were standing and trading well in the seventh. Warren was getting the better of the exchanges. Payano was starting to stage a late rally in the next couple of round when Warren slowed down. But then Warren had Payano in a lot of trouble in the eleventh and punished him with punches. In the twelfth, Warren continued to land accurate combinations and was making Payano miss his returns.