SAN DIEGO, December 13, 2014 – Head butts threatened to become a major factor in the bout between Timothy Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs) and Diego Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs). There were three in the second round alone. But the judges did the real damage, scoring the fight between the pair as a draw.
Burt Clements had it 115-113 for Bradley; Julie Lederman saw it 116-112 for Chaves; and Craig Metcalfe provided the result with a card of 114-114. It was a stunner to everyone watching. Bradley landed by far the better, stronger punches throughout, though Chaves was no pushover.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum called the judges “idiots” and said Lederman shouldn’t be allowed to judge a fight in Nevada again.
Bradley was disappointed but pragmatic about it, telling HBO’s Max Kellerman, “I thought the decision was horrible, but I’m not a judge. I thought I won the fight clearly… I controlled the action, I landed the cleaner punches.” Bradley said Chaves might have won four, five rounds at the most.
Although his eye was badly swollen by the end of the fight, Bradley said he could see just fine. He passed up the post fight news conference to have his cheekbone examined for a possible break.
Chaves said post-fight, “It was a pretty even fight but I felt I was superior in many instances in the fight.”
Bradley won the moral victory and he’s the fighter of the two that fans still want to see. He made the usual comments about going home and talking to his team about what awaits him in 2015. Let’s hope a fair decision is at the top of the list.
It wasn’t the worst decision of the night. Light welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. (22-0, 16 KOs) gave interim WBA light welterweight titlist Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (21-4, 7 KOs) of Mexico all he could handle, but most observers were sure Herrera prevailed in the fight. But Benavidez won a unanimous decision from judges by scores of 116-112 from two judges, and 117-111 by the third. Benavidez came right after Herrera and never backed down. CompuBox stats did lean in Benavidez’s favor. Herrera worked hard and he didn’t hide when he could have, providing tremendous action in the final round that will stick with the appreciative fans for a long time.
Once again it seems Herrara got robbed, and he told HBO’s Max Kellerman so after the fight. “Nothing new happens all the time, I win a fight and they take it away from me,” said a disappointed Herrera. Fans expressed their disappointment in a way I can’t print on a family friendly website.
Irish boxer Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KO) didn’t let the judges decide his fate, taking matters into his own hands with a stunning sixth round TKO win over Russian Matt Korobov (24-1, 14 KO) to win the vacant WBO middleweight belt.
It was Lee’s second improbable knockout win of the year. The pair had traded shots throughout the fight. Lee was rocked by a Korobov left, and in response launched his trademark monstrous right hook that returned the favor and then some on Korobov. Lee saw his chance and swarmed a wobbling Korobov who couldn’t fight back.
At the point he won, Lee was behind on all the judges’ scorecards, well behind on two of them. Lee admitted later Korobov was having the better of it, “but my right hook’s a killer punch. I thought he was going down, but I wasn’t taking any chances, I was hell bent for leather.”
After the fight Lee told HBO’s Kellerman, “It’s hard to describe, but I thought about this moment, I thought about winning it, and I had a speech prepared in my mind,” thanking his current trainer Adam Booth, and also his previous trainers Sugar Hill and especially the late Emanual Steward. “He said I would win the world title. His wife Marie flew here all the way from Detroit to see my fight,” said Lee.
“All the Lees, all the Irish, I heard all your cheers and it got me through that fight. Korobov gave me a nightmare, but you got me through that fight,” said Lee. “I’m a champion now, I want to defend my belt in Ireland, and I’ll fight anyone in the world.”
Korobov said, “”I’ve never been hurt before. I caught a bad hook to the chin. I couldn’t recover.” Korobov’s trainer said in retrospect he should have taken a knee, but it didn’t happen.
Whoever’s got next, fans are in for a treat in 2015. St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Madison Square Garden, anyone?
On the undercard, light heavyweight Seanie Monoghan of New York improved his record to 23-0 with a TKO win over Daniel Regi at 2:52 of Round 3. Monaghan says he will ask Top Rank to put him up against Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. Sure, put it on the Lee undercard.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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