Nehomar Cermeno (22-5-1, 13 KOs) is the new WBA interim super bantamweight champion after defeating Oscar Escandon (22-1, 15 KOs) via split decision on Saturday night from the Megapolis Convention Center in Panama City, Panama.
While Cermeno was the one holding the belt at the end of the 12-round affair, fans are sure to debate the decision. The new champion took the fight 115-113 and 117-111 on two judges' cards, while the previously undefeated Escandon got the nod from one judge, 116-113, according to FightNews.com.
Cermeno was the underdog coming in with five losses on his record but showcased his slight edge in experience. He was able to outbox the younger, more aggressive Escandon in enough rounds to win the decision.
For Escandon, this is a bad loss. As an 29-year-old up-and-comer, this was supposed to be a step-up fight that would lead to bigger and better things as he made his way up the ladder in the super bantamweight division.
Now, he'll have to find a way to climb the ladder once again. With the controversial nature of the loss, he might be fortunate enough to be rewarded with a rematch that could get him right back in the hunt for the title.
However, it was a huge night for Cermeno, who had a 1-1-1 record in his previous three bouts, including a loss to undefeated Alexander Bakhtin and a draw against undefeated Yoandris Salinas. Now, he's a two-division interim champion after holding the interim WBA bantamweight title in 2009.
The burden is now on Cermeno to prove that this win was more than a fluke in his next bout.
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