By Jake Donovan
Celestino Caballero made the first defense of his WBA featherweight belt with a unanimous decision over Satoshi Hosono in their 12-round bout Saturday in Yokohoma, Japan. Scores were 118-109 (twice) and 116-110 in their title fight. Caballero (36-4, 23KO) was in control throughout a bout that resembled man versus child given the massive size difference. Hosono remained game throughout the contest, but struggled to work his way inside for most of the night.
Hosono (21-2, 15KO) enjoyed moments of success in the seventh and ninth rounds. Both rounds presumably went his way as the judges were hard pressed to score any other for the hometown fighter, who was deducted a point in the 10th round for rabbit punching.
The win is Caballero’s second straight after having dropped two in a row at a crucial point in his career. The 36-year old beanpole was on the wrong end of one of the biggest upsets in 2010 when he came in ill-prepared and was outworked by journeyman Jason Litzau.
Things went from bad to worse in the luck department when he came up just short in a disputed split decision against Jonathan Barros in their July featherweight title fight despite scoring two knockdowns. Sweet revenge was gained three months later when Caballero went back to Argentina, this time leaving no doubt as he scored a wide unanimous decision in a dominant performance.
Caballero offered an equally strong showing on Saturday, working mostly behind his jab and picking apart his opponent from long range anytime Hosono attempted to work his way inside. Any shaky moment endured by Caballero was immediately rectified while rarely getting caught by more than one punch at a time at any point in the fight.
Hosono, who has fought exclusively in Japan, ends a five-fight win streak in coming up considerably short in his second failed title bid. The featherweight dropped a narrow decision to Poonsawat Kratingdaengym in their 122 lb title fight nearly two years ago.