By Peter Wells:
After the chapter of Manny Pacquiao was left behind, Timothy Bradley begun a new one with a dominant performance against good world level fighter Diego Chaves. Bradley showed himself to be comfortable as both the puncher and counter puncher, only to slow down later in the contest to concede a shut-out points victory.
Oh right…scratch that. Because once again we are denied the chance to focus on a fantastic performance by a world class boxer, as we instead have to move our attention to the attention-seeking judges. Julie Lederman and Craig Metcalfe were the main culprits, scoring 116-112 Chaves and 114-114 respectively. As you may have gathered now, despite dominating the contest, Bradley didn’t win. It was scored a draw thanks to Burt Clements’ 115-113 scorecard for Bradley, and had it not been for the other two disgraceful scorecards then more people would have been questioning how Burt scored the fight so close.
Yes, some contests are open to interpretation, and everyone has their own opinion as to who is the more effective. But sometimes it’s like saying a football game is open to interpretation on what the result was, if one team scores 6 goals and the other scores 1, that doesn’t mean the final score is 2-2. Here, Chaves won 4 rounds at the most, maybe 5 if your being kind.
That’s now two cases of incompetent judging in just three days in the USA, with Tyson Cave being blatantly robbed against Oscar Escandon on Thursday night when many had Cave winning every round.
So what should we do to resolve this clear injustice, a rematch? No chance! What’s the point, Bradley 31-1-1(12) clearly won the fight and a rematch has no real weight behind it. Banning the two judges for a good length of time would be the best outcome here, and let’s see Bradley in with the elite once again, because that is what this performance merits.
As Bob Sheridan brilliantly pointed out in commentary, Bradley’s ring generalship was spot on throughout. Bradley traded with Chaves 23-2-1(19) on his terms, Bradley boxed on the outside on his terms, never on Chaves’ terms.
Two head clashes in round 2 left a small cut over the right eye of Chaves, and what would result in terrible swelling under the left eye of Bradley. The eye gradually became worse, until a point when it was unlikely that Bradley had a clear idea of all the right hands coming his way.
For the first 6 rounds, Bradley was happy to fight fire-with-fire, while his superior skills and speed ensured he was in control. Chaves, while having some success, could not match the output and accuracy of the American.
Bradley then began to box in the second half of the contest, and this was where the former two-weight world champion really began to flourish. Every round was entertaining, but also one-sided.
While not a world title fight, the implications these idiotic judges’ scorecards can have on fighters can make your blood boil. Teddy Atlas’ rant on Thursday night epitomised the feeling of all boxing fans, we are sick of the injustice in the sport, that has suffered another black eye. Sadly we are not even surprised anymore. Journalists know they can’t go a week without a review being completely ruined. And a fighter can’t go into a contest knowing if they win the fight, they’ll actually win the fight.
ANDY LEE FULFILLS DREAMS
In lighter news, Ireland’s Andy Lee 34-2(24) shocked the applecart to claim the vacant WBO Middleweight title with a 6th round knockout of unbeaten Matt Korobov 24-1(14).
The extremely likeable Lee was struggling with the boxing skills of Korobov who was in full control after 5 rounds, but as Korobov found success with a big left of his own he was caught flush by a sumptuous right hook that sent shockwaves through the whole body of Korobov. After a brief stall, Lee went for the kill, clocking 18 unanswered punches before Kenny Bayless stepped in to save Korobov.
HERRERA VS BENAVIDEZ
In the first of the triple-header, Jose Benavidez Jr 22-0(15) took a contentious unanimous decision against Mauricio Herrera 21-5(7).
This fight was open for interpretation, although 117-111 did seem too wide for such a close contest. I did have the unbeaten fighter ahead, but more in line with the two 116-112 scorecards.
Benavidez fought very well when moving forward, backing Herrera up with his long arms, but seemed less comfortable on the ropes, however he did find some good work off the ropes and Herrera proved too open throughout the contest.
Herrera’s work rate was impressive as his relentless style offered plenty of problems for the 22 year old Benavidez.
It was an entertaining contest that fans would not mind seeing again, but Benavidez showed he is a viable world title contender in the Light Welterweight division.