Eimantas Stanionis bests Gabriel Maestre to retain title in ring return

Eimantas Stanionis retains WBA 147 lbs title by decision against Gabriel Maestre on Canelo vs Munguia undercard

Eimantas Stanionis came out with the win against Gabriel Maestre on Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The undefeated Lithuanian handed two-time Olympian of Venezuela his first defeat as a pro and retained his WBA welterweight title. The contest kicked off the PPV card topped by Canelo Alvarez vs Jaime Munguia.

Stanionis once again defeated Maestre – an old amateur rival of nearly 10 years ago – by unanimous decision. After 12 rounds, the scores were 117-111, 118-110 and 119-109.

With the victory, Eimantas Stanionis improved to 15-0, 9 KOs and made the first successful defense of his belt. The 29-year-old stepped inside the ring for the first time in two years since his win by split decision against Radzhab Butaev in April 2022.

“I know I said there would be no ring rust, but of course it’s different once you’re in the ring with all the lights,” said Stanionis. “It was very emotional to be back in the ring after such a long and frustrating time. It wasn’t my best performance. I’ll be back next time and better for sure.”

“The power shots were the difference. He was just touching me and I was hitting him with big shots and putting pressure on him all of the time. It was a do-or-die fight for him and I think he had a good performance and I was just okay.”

“I just want to be active. That’s the main priority. I was off for two years and in my country of Lithuania, where there isn’t the best sparring. Next camp everything is going to be better.”

Gabriel Maestre, who earlier in his career held the WBA interim welterweight strap, dropped to 6-1-1, 5 KOs. The 37-year-old got his two-fight winning streak snapped.

“I felt Stanionis respected me, it was a tough fight,” said Maestre. “It didn’t turn out the way I wanted with the world title, but we gave the fans a show and, like I said at the press conference, it was a show stealer.”

“My corner gave me good advice and encouragement throughout the fight. I’m very appreciative of Coach Salas and my entire team. I’m going to come back stronger. No doubt about it. I’m eager to see what’s next.”

Get Canelo vs Munguia full fight card results.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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