Kal Yafai retains WBA world title over Gonzalez via controversial decision

Super flyweight world titleholder Kal Yafai promised to knockout Israel Gonzalez, but not only did he not follow through on his promise, but some also went as far to say that Gonzalez won the fight.

Yafai (25-0, 15 KO's), 29, of the United Kingdom, the WBA "Regular" super flyweight world champion, scored a 12-round unanimous decision at the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco on Saturday. The judges scored the bout 117-111 and 116-112 twice.

Gonzalez fought a very competitive fight and stormed out of the ring in protest when the decision was announced in Yafai's favor.

“I’m a bit embarrassed by my performance,” Yafai told Sky Sports. “I thought the scores were a bit wide. I just wasn’t busy enough, and I’ve got to be better than that.”

Yafai controlled the first round behind a solid left jab. Although Gonzalez was using the ring to his advantage, he was unable to mount much offense.

In the second round, Gonzalez had sporadic success with his right hand, as Yafai made the challenger chase after him with his swift footwork.

Yafai drew first blood, but it was a clash of heads that left Gonzalez with a nasty cut over his left eye.

The middle rounds were closely contested, but Yafai may have impressed the judges more with his accuracy. Gonzalez seemed to pick up the aggression and rally in the championship rounds, but it was not enough to earn a points victory, albeit Yafai seemed dolorous about his performance.

Mexico's Gonzalez (23-3, 10 KO's) also fought for a world title in May, when he suffered a 10th-round stoppage to IBF titlist Jerwin Ancajas. However, he performed much better in this fight. It was a one-sided showing against Ancajas, who is one of the top fighters at 115-pounds, alongside Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Yafai has made four defenses of his belt since defeating former world champion Luis Concepcion by unanimous decision in December 2016. Since then, Yafai has yet to face any elite competition, but he has called for a fight with former four-division world champion Roman Gonzalez.

“Whether it’s Gonzalez or whether it’s a unification fight, we’ve got to get those big fights,” confirmed promoter Eddie Hearn. “If we don’t make those fights now, we may look back and say we missed the boat.”

Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KO's) was unbeaten until last year when he suffered a controversial majority decision loss to the aforementioned Sor Rungvisai in March. Then, Gonzalez was viciously knocked out in the fourth round of a September rematch. The Nicaraguan returned on the undercard of the rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in September, when he stopped former world title contender Moises Fuentes inside five rounds.

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