Taking notes from the NBA, the World Boxing Council Suspends Broner

Broner

By Mateo Banegas

Following racial remarks made by Adrien Broner during his post-fight interview this past weekend, the WBC has hereby suspended Broner from participating in any WBC-sanctioned championship and will exclude him from the WBC ratings, until he makes a public apology that is satisfactory to the global public.

As announced on the WBC website (wbcboxing.com) today, May 7th, “The World Boxing Council holds human equality as its banner and will not accept a former WBC champion to make racially offensive statements.”

In the open letter, the WBC has asked Broner to clarify the basis of his words, “since words have different meanings and can be interpreted in different ways”, or issue a public apology if those words were purposefully offensive.

This comes at a time when racism and irresponsible language in sports is no longer being tolerated, as witnessed by the strong stance taken by the NBA in response to Donald Sterling’s now well-known racially charged rant.

These steps by the WBC may, then, represent efforts to demonstrate equally swift and firm action against one of it’s athletes. Particularly in a sport as racially and ethnically diverse as boxing.

Boxing fans should take note of this move and see how future use of culturally-insensitive and inappropriate language in boxing, whether used in an attempt for cute sound-bytes or simply out of ignorance, is handled.

Quick Take With Mateo B: Garcia vs Herrera

Garcia Herrera

By Mateo Banegas

Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) vs. Herrera (20-4, 7 KOs)

Boxing fans were treated to a great bout last night, as Danny Garcia looked to build his international star power by shining in a fight that took place in his familial motherland of Puerto Rico. But if followers of Garcia expected him to run over a relatively unknown Herrera, they got a big surprise.

Herrera, a lightweight from Riverside, California who boasts a win over the Siberian Rocky (Ruslan Provodnikov) and often serves as a sparring partner to Timothy Bradley, caused trouble for Garcia and earned some well-deserved boxing credit while doing so. Herrera, who pressed the action for much of the night, executed his fight plan with excellence, landing the left jab and body shots, cutting off the ring and employing wily movement.

This led to a frustrated Garcia, who was unable to deploy his well-known power and killer left hook. Yet, as with any good champion, Garcia was able to win points by landing some good power shots and throwing enough combinations to make him seem effective.

The fight was close and had great action, with moments of grace for both boxers, but neither of them having solidified a clear victory. As is the case in these types of fights, much to the dismay of boxing fans, it came down to the judges. In the end, Garcia pulled out a majority decision, with two judges calling it for Garcia and one judge calling it a draw.

judge: Gustavo Padilla 114-114 | judge: Carlos Colon 112-116 | judge: Alejandro Rochin 112-116

While many boxing fans would have been most content with a draw, the decision was not surprising. To win a decision and take the championship belt, the contender has to beat the champ in a clear and decisive fashion. And while Herrera did an incredible job against Garcia, it simply wasn’t enough to dethrone him.

Quick Take with Mateo B: Canelo vs Angulo Prediction

Canelo-vs-Angulo-640x360

By Mateo Banegas 

When this fight was announced a few months ago, I was among the many boxing fans who thought this was just the latest example of Golden Boy Promotions protecting their golden goose.

And while I haven’t changed my mind, it does make sense. First, after the schooling that Canelo received from Mayweather, I realize that a warm-up bout may be a good thing for the young star. As we have seen plenty of times in the past, this type of fight can help rebuild Canelo’s confidence and focus. You know, that “eye of the tiger” stuff from Rocky. Second, though, this fight is also a rebuilding strategy for Golden Boy Promotions, who hopes to maintain the huge fan following for Canelo and reassure fans that he is still the strong, hungry young champion and future of boxing – in other words, secure their future gains (talking dollars here folks).

Regardless, Angulo is no slouch, and has earned his respect as a powerful puncher who can bang with the best and cause trouble for even the top boxers.

All of this to say that I predict Canelo will win by TKO in the championship rounds. Angulo will pressure early, trying to rattle Canelo and earn respect with his power. By the middle rounds, Canelo will have settled in and begin to implement his plan effectively, using the ring and waiting to engage with power against Angulo at the right time. The middle rounds will be the most action-packed and we could see Canelo in trouble, during one of the moments when he chooses to go toe-to-toe with Angulo. Canelo will recover, get back into his rhythm, and catch Angulo with a powerful punch that ends the fight.

Thereafter, Canelo maintains his star power and is lined up for a follow-up bout to regain a championship belt. Angulo, still the respected fighter, gets the much-needed rematch against Erislandy Lara.

Quick Take With Mateo Banegas

By Mateo Banegas 

Quick Take – Top quality show in the Alamo (12/14/13)

Showtime closed out its boxing schedule for the year with a card that showcased some great fights and fighters that are sure to bring boxing fans joy in 2014. Here are a few quick takeaways:

  1. San Antonio is quietly becoming the boxing stronghold and midway stop between the Big Apple and Las Vegas. With Golden Boy Promotions continuing to collaborate with former fighter and current boxing promoter, Jesse James Leija, the team keeps building on the huge fan base in the Southwestern US to promote top-notch boxing cards in the Lonestar State.
  2. Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1) showed that he belongs at the top of the super bantamweight division, successfully defending his title against a strong opponent in Cesar Seda (25-1). The latest in a legacy of exciting bouts between strong fighters from Mexico (Santa Cruz) and Puerto Rico (Seda), Santa Cruz started to solidify the win in the championship rounds. With this win and the impressive domination of Victor Terrazas in August 2013, Santa Cruz has positioned himself well for his next fight to be a title unification bout against one of the most dangerous tacticians in boxing, Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0). Although Rigondeaux is coming off of a lackluster win against Agbeko on Dec. 7th, a bout against a pressure fighter like Santa Cruz may just be what the promoters need to try and make it happen.  
  3. Keith “One-time” Thurman (21-0) put a stamp on 2013 with a strong win against the eternal-underdog Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3). Following a great win over Argentina’s Diego Chaves in July, which gained him the WBA interim welterweight title, Thurman defended his belt against a strong opponent in Soto Karass. Thurman had an impressive fight, landing several power punches and working the body of Soto Karass. This fight pushes Thurman into the spotlight of star-packed welterweight division, against whom Thurman stands as a dangerous challenger. One fight for Thurman that looks to be like an incredible match-up would be against recently crowned IBF beltholder Shawn Porter, who is coming off a big win over Devon Alexander on Dec. 7th.
  4. “El Chino” Maidana quiets Adrien “The Problem” Broner on Saturday night, as Maidana (34-3) outboxed Broner (27-0) in grand fashion. This was the end-of-the-year title fight everyone was looking toward. Widely acknowledged as the biggest test of Broner’s career, the dangerous Argentine proved many correct in giving Broner the first loss of his career. This fight tested Broner’s ability and power against one of the hardest punching and toughest boxers in the division. Maidana worked Broner’s body all night and landed devastating left punches that dropped Broner twice. While Broner’s quickness, movement and defense have worked against his previous opponents, Maidana was able to cut off the ring and remain on the offensive to limit Broner’s effectiveness. At the end of the fight, Maidana proudly donned a crown, and belt, as the new WBA welterweight champion. Given Maidana’s heavy-punching style, fights against the likes of Thurman or Porter would be great for the fans.  And even though I would love to see Maidana against Bradley or Pacquiao, I am not convinced that he could be successful facing either of these two opponents.

Regardless, the welterweight divisions continue to stand as the backbone of boxing at the moment, providing endless quality fight potential for fans of the sweet science. Given the seemingly endless talent around this weight class, the next year for boxing looks promising.

Quick Take – TopRank in Macau (11/23/13)

  1. Top Rank is having a hard time put together quality, exciting cards. Months ago, during the big joint venture between Showtime and GoldenBoy, CEO Richard Schaefer proclaimed that they had the best fighters in the game, and that their chief rival TopRank would have a hard time putting together worthy fight cards. Well, he may have been right, and last night was just the most recent example. While the main event went the way many thought, the undercard was just okay, failing to produce fights that were exciting. This trend looks to continue on December 7th, a date on which TopRank/HBO is showcasing a weak fight card headlined by Rigondeux vs. Agbeko that will fail to take viewers away from a star-studded card by GoldenBoy/Showtime with Judah v. Malignaggi, Alexander vs. Porter, and Trout vs. Lara.
  2. Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo may be the next Puerto Rican star. During a rare time in the sport of boxing, when none of the major championship belts are held by a Puerto Rican fighter, this young man may quickly change this trend. He greatly outperformed his opponent, Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan, in a one-sided lightweight bout last night in Macau. His has a great style and, if he keeps developing and learning to use his size, will be a force to reckon with in the future.
  3. Zou Shiming may be a star in the far east, but I don’t see him reaching the level of stardom or fan base in the US. The two-time gold medal Olympian won in convincing fashion last night in Macau, but I don’t think he could beat the likes of featherweight titlist Juan Estrada.
  4. Tor Hamer quitting was a huge disappointment to all. Especially to Andy Ruiz, whose TKO win meant that he didn’t even get into his rhythm, as Ruiz claimed to be “just warming up” by the time Hamer gave up as he sat on the stool in his corner.
  5. Billy Dib may have had his last chance to be considered a serious boxing contender.  Dib was rocked by Evgeny Gradovich last night and was taking a beating when his corner threw in the towel. As Jim Lampley stated, Dib’s future as a boxer may not be done, but it might be best for him to return as a fighter that stays in his home country of Australia – after the likes of Anthony Mundine.
  6. I don’t know if Pacquiao is the same as the old Pacman, but his speed and ring movement were too much for Rios. Pacquiao’s “stick and move” approach was highly effective. Even Rios admitted that Pac’s quickness was something he had couldn’t overcome. However, even in victory, Pac’s statesmanship shined through in his post-fight interview, as he commended Rios for his status as a good fighter and punching power. I am very curious to see what comes next for both fighters. For Rios, he still sits well positioned and could go for a third bout against Alvarado or a potential barnburner against Provodnikov. For Pacquiao, he could try to avenge his “loss” to Bradley or go for a fifth fight against Marquez. While a fight between Pacquiao and Provodnikov would be interesting, I don’t see Pac’s camp agreeing to what could be a dangerous fight for him, particularly after that knockout loss to Marquez (and we all know that Provodnikov would likely bring the pain).  Only time will tell.

Thoughts on……”The One”

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By Mateo Banegas

Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you that the Blood Money Team told you so, but I am going to use a few lines to share some thoughts from last night.

First – Definitely not The One:

Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina. As a good friend of mine, who is a HUGE boxing fanatic, once told me – boxing is like sex, any is good. What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, the IBF super-welterweight championship bout between Smith and Molina was a perfect example of this expression. While it may not have been an action-packed fight, fans were able to see professional boxing between two of the 2nd-tier boxers in the welterweight division, even though it was for a belt. Congratulations to Molina for capturing the IBF title. But I don’t see Molina holding on to this belt for long. Especially, if his next bout comes against any of the fighters who should be in the running for that belt and happen to be in the top-tier of the middleweight division, like Trout, Lara or Alvarez.

Second – Soon, may be The One:

Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse: All I can say is that Danny Garcia was impressive last night. Garcia not only confirmed his technical soundness, he also showed the world his patience, ability to move effectively and ring intelligence. Neither Garcia nor Matthysse fought in their typical aggressive style, but a lot of this has to do with Garcia. He eliminated Matthysse’s biggest threat, punching power, by using the ring to his advantage. By doing this Garcia was able to exploit Matthysse’s defense, landing powerful shots, including several of his famous left hooks. Garcia’s left hook ended up being the defining punch of the fight, turning Matthysse into a one-eyed boxer who couldn’t see Garcia’s dangerous lefts coming in for the landing. Regardless, no one can deny Matthysse is a warrior and, had his eye not closed, it would have been a completely different fight. But, in the end, Garcia fought like a true champ and showed why he is a force to be reckoned with in the junior welterweight division.

Last – Why he is “The One” 

Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez: There is not much that needs to be said about this fight. Money May did what he does best, display defensive superiority and calculated offense, while showing everyone why Canelo just isn’t ready to take his throne yet. Don’t get me wrong. Canelo had some moments of light – backing Mayweather against the ropes, landing some good right hand shots and quick combos.  But most of his shots either missed Floyd or hit his gloves. Mayweather, on the other hand, was able to pick Canelo apart, landing punches at will against the outmatched Alvarez. Even though we are all aware of Mayweather’s talent, he never ceases to amaze as he picks apart every opponent who steps up. In the end, while the pound-for-pound king remains on his thrown, us fans welcome the next worthy combatant, excited to see if Mayweather will ever be dethroned.

Canelo vs. Mayweather: BloodMoneyBoxing Expert Picks

To the Blood Money Boxing family, thank you for your ongoing support of our blog and following us. The big weekend is here! Whether you see this as a mega fight or mega card, this weekend is no doubt an indication to all the boxing critics who say boxing is dead. From revolutionizing the way fights are promoted to fans camping out of the MGM Grand to see today’s weight in, boxing is more alive than ever.

Rudy Mondragon Prediction

A great fight on an even better fight card, Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) will face Saul Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) on September 14, 2013 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This is a huge stage that Alvarez is not used to being in. 40,000 fans in Texas is much different than 16,000 plus fans in Las Vegas. Although it is a smaller number, the amount of pressure and the quality of the opponent that Saul will face is all new. Mayweathers resume speaks for itself, he has been here before, he knows the culture of preparation that it takes to win. Canelo’s biggest test was Austin Trout and that was his last fight. Canelo has had zero time to process and PRACTICE what he learned against Trout. To apply what he learned from his biggest challenge to date against an even bigger challenge in Mayweather was not smart on the part of Canelo’s team to take this fight. In my opinion, Canelo needed one extra fight to develop as a fighter and use what he learned to apply it in tomorrow’s fight. Floyed on the other hand, had a good tune up fight against Guerrero and will be fresh and ready to fight. Here are the keys to victory for both fighters:

Keys to victor for Canelo:

  1. Start early and start aggressive. It is known that Floyd is a professor of the game and needs the first 2 rounds to study his opponents. Canelo needs to recognize that this window of opportunity is small and will need to start aggressive to set the tone of the fight in his favor. Mosley started well, but took his foot off the gas and Mayweather made him pay.
  2. Attack the body. Floyd moves his head great, but his midsection stays in place. Canelo needs to attack the body in order to break down Floyd and set up dangerous headshots.
  3. Ignore everything Oscar De La Hoya told you. I don’t believe Oscar is the best teacher and does not recognize development of a young fighter’s mind. Canelo needs to have a mindset that he is the challenger, that he is in the ring against the best boxer around today, that he needs to win ever round of this fight, that he needs to stay relaxed, that he needs to follow the game plan and not get frustrated. He basically needs to throw away that “blueprint” that Oscar shared with him

Keys to victor for Mayweather:

  1. Be Floyd Mayweather. Study Canelo in the first two rounds and adapt to what Canelo brings to the ring. Exploit the weaknesses identified and capitalize on the mistakes that young Canelo will eventually make.
  2. DEFENSE and MOVEMENT: Canelo will try to go to the body, so Mayweather will need to use the ring and move. Movement and his signature defense will need to be in beautiful harmony because that will create his offense.
  3. Use the ropes to draw Canelo in and counter him, but don’t stay there too long. This will help in the later rounds as it will set up Canelo for a trap. If Mayweather does this right, he can set Canelo up to walk into a hard left, similar to how Hatton was put away.

In the end, I strongly believe that the 2 pounds that Canelo had to drop will for this fight will make a huge difference. Yes the extra weight that Canelo has will help his power punches, but I don’t see him connecting many of them. Having little success will morally fatigue Canelo, which will be new to Canelo. The extra weight that he had to shed will also fatigue him physically and he will begin to fade by the 8th round (we saw this in his fight against Mosley and Trout). As long as Mayweather does not hurt his right hand, I see Mayweather finishing off Canelo in the 10th or 11th round via TKO. Remember how the veteran, Juan M Marquez beat up the young Juan Diaz? Yeah, I can see that happening here tonight. Master beats up on the student.

Floyd Mayweather will win via 10th or 11th round stoppage.

Jarrett Bato Prediction

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

I’ve been watching Showtime’s All Access highlighting the journey from training to the fight night between Canelo and Floyd, and there’s no doubt that all the drama attempting to dissect a fight yet to happen is present in this documentary, executive produced by “Money” himself.

Canelo is portrayed as a young, hungry, and mentally matured fighter benefiting from the gradual but methodical rise through the ranks as he grew to the professional fighter we see today. Still surrounded by the same team, his preparation in training is convincing, even boring. Edison Reynoso might be inexperienced in the large sense of the boxing world, but he certainly has done his homework, forcing Canelo to train in conditions matching and exceeding Mayweather’s previous opponents. Strength and conditioning is there, and Canelo looks fantastic after the 3rd episode of All Access running up to the fight on Sept. 14th.

Mayweather, however, seems effortless in portraying how he basically has nothing new to share to fans in All Access. His preparation, according to Arthur Ashe, must be equivalent to that unseen mass of iceberg underneath the ocean, showing only the tip of that iceberg in his cars, ever-expanding “Money” family, and massive self-confidence. To me, it seems that Floyd is now underemphasizing the preparation aspect of his game. Canelo was half-right in saying “he talks that much because he knows the fight will be hard”. What he’s probably missing is that Floyd has probably doubled-down on his preparation to fight twice a year, repair fully from injury, and the mental games that he wants to play with his opponent.

Like Showtime says, Floyd’s home is MGM Grand, Canelo is fighting in his house, catchweight or not. Floyd’s tunnel vision/focus on his opponent has been refined and sharpened for over 20 years. Canelo would be naive to think that this Vegas superfight circus is something Floyd does for himself/the public, but it’s actually all for his opponent, such that all aspects of the game are in Money’s favor even before the bell rings. It’s disconcerting that Canelo’s attention is towards what Floyd is saying despite his camp being “distraction-less”. Canelo might show Floyd something new, but to the Mayweather team, it still won’t obscure the vision of truth to winning the night.

I predict a 12 round unanimous decision for Mayweather with some dramatic 4th and 12th rounds

Mateo Banegas Prediction

Finally, the bout boxing fans have been waiting to see: the pound-for-pound kingvs. the young champion. Alvarez showed maturity and development in his last bout against Trout, demonstrating improved quickness, punching combos and abilityto limit his opponents’ movement in the ring. Size and power favor Canelo, giving him great offense potential. If Canelo can use his quickness and land combinations to the body, this may slow down Mayweather, giving Canelo a chance in later rounds to land that knockdown punch that we all know his is capable of doing. But Mayweather is unlike any other. The veteran’s incredible ring knowledge, defense and technical skills are levels above any other fighter in the division (and probably the sport). Plus, Floyd’s championship bout experience is a huge advantage, since he has been able to adjust his game plan against many different opponents, time and time again, so that he gets the win. In the end, while Canelo may cause Mayweather some trouble during the middle rounds, Mayweather will remain the undisputed p4p champ, outpointing the young Alvarez.

Mayweather will remain the undisputed p4p champ, outpointing the young Alvarez.

Luke Givens Prediction

Don’t get your hopes up.  Anyone expecting heavy fireworks in this bout is in for a huge disappointment.  What you will see is an incredibly technical, incredibly one-sided victory for Mayweather.  Canelo is young, strong, and smart but against a crafty, quick, veteran like Mayweather he has little to no chance.  He moves well and is incredibly patient for a fighter his age but I haven’t seen the kind of one-punch power in any of his previous fights to give me the impression he’ll be able to stop Mayweather cold.  Which means that (just as in all his other fights), he’ll need to rely on good footwork and solid body shots to soften Mayweather up in an effort to finish him in the mid-late rounds.  Yeah…good luck with that.

Keys to Victory Alvarez:

  • Start Strong- Mayweather is a notoriously slow starter.  Take this opportunity to win rounds early.
  • Headhunt- He won’t KO him but he’ll look busy and score points for aggression.
  • Cut Off the Ring –  As great as Mayweather is fighting in the pocket, he’s even better in the open ring.  By forcing him into the corners you limit his angles and shoulder movement while scoring points for ring generalship.
  • Protect yourself at all time- Victor Ortiz! No seriously, Floyd’s sneaky just look at the Ricky Hatton fight. If you drop your guard for a second…

Keys to Victory Mayweather:

  • Weather the Storm- Everyone knows Mayweather starts slow then makes adjustments in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. So does Canelo.
  • Robin Hood Offense- Limit the exchanges to small quick flurries then retreat. By forcing Alvarez to give chase he increases his chances of catching him with clean shots coming in.
  • Avoid the Corners- The open ring is where Mayweather is at his best.  He’s incredible at using the open space to force his opponents to miss.

Jose Hernandez Prediction

Mayweather vs. Canelo has been hyped as a bonafide “mega fight”, “super-mega fight”?  Hmmm, let’s see if it passes the “mega fight” classification litmus test.  On paper this fight is promising:

Record: The 23yr old Canelo has a very impressive 42-0 record; Mayweather is of course 44-0

Record indication: Super Mega fight

Promotion: Golden Boy in partnership with TMT and their Daddies up in CBS have delivered a very palatable product.  If the fighters fought in the universe that is All Access, Canelo would win a close fight against Money.  (Shane and Oscar are well convinced of this false reality)

Promotional Indication: Super Mega Fight x 100 (as expected)

Drama: A lot has been made about the 152 lb. catch weight and Canelo’s apparent weight advantage(disadvantage).  Will he be drained, will he hydrate to 170?  How will Money fare with fighting someone so big?

Drama indication: DUD, Canelo will hydrate to whatever he wants on fight night, and Money will handle his “massive” opponent just fine.  It is a non-issue, remember Castillo?  I believe Castillo had a healthy weight advantage come fight night, that didn’t really help Castillo.  Boxing is not about brute force it’s an art, Mayweather is the Michelangelo of boxing.

Quality of opponent behind their record:  This one can be tricky, both fighters share notable votaries over some big names (Mosley, Baldomir, Oscar*) to name a few.  With one big difference, Money took on these opponents when these fighters were in their PRIME.  To compare fighters across the same opponents is just not possible in boxing; it’s a complete false equivalence (even when they fight them at their respective primes).  To define quality of opponent you must rely on the context and significance to the fighter’s careers as well as the respective place in boxing each fighter has coming into the fight.  Money had Corrales, both 23 at the time, hungry and ready to take on center stage.  Canelo had…Josesito Lopez?…Trout?  If I give him Trout, I actually didn’t have Canelo winning that fight, it was a Draw at best and appropriate for the Texas judging committee.  Josesito Lopez, kid had heart, but had no business being in that ring.  Shoot, I guess this is it, his defining moment!

Quality of opponent indication: DUD.  You know how dads tend to live their youth (as soccer players, baseball players, et.) vicariously through their kids, even far beyond their kid abilities and their kids actual interest in said sport?  This is what Oscar is doing with Canelo; Canelo loves boxing, but he has not reached his prime yet.  Dare I say, he doesn’t deserve to fight Money, that’s right I said it.  He needs a Corrales and then some to be put side to side to someone like Money.

Money takes care of things in 11.  Corner waves white towel

Bradley’s Brawl

By: Mateo Banegas

Saturday night gave boxing fans an early gift, an incredible fight that could be considered a candidate for fight-of-the-year as well as round(s)-of-the-year. Coming off of a 10-month absence from the ring since his win against Manny Pacquiao, Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley (29-0) defended his WBO welterweight title against a fairly new face to many, boxer Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov (22-1). Bradley aimed to get back on his feet, following months of criticism and banter about his Pacquiao fight, and show the world why he deserves to be world champion. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened in Bradley’s first defense of his WBO belt, an action-packed slugfest, against a strong, aggressive Provodnikov – a name boxing fans will not soon forget.

Bradley came out fast and busy, telling Max Kellerman that he wanted to establish control of the fight early, although this approach catered to Provodnikov, known for his steady pressure and brawling style. So began the brawl, with the fighters trading strong, hard-hitting punches, tit-for-tat, in the middle of the ring for the first two rounds. Bradley kept getting caught with good looping rights from Provodnikov, though he would find a way to answer back. Bradley got rocked in the 2nd round and found himself taking a knee that was called a slip by the referee, but which some felt should have been called a knockdown for Provodnikov. By the end of the 2nd, it was unimaginable how the fighters remained standing from the amount of blows each took.

Bradley then began boxing, slowing the fight and implementing a plan that allowed him to jab, land body shots and set up good punches. Provodnikov was unable to box with Bradley, as he kept looking for power punches and trying to shift the match back to a brawl.  Yet, Bradley stayed busy, making Provodnikov focus on his defense, and showing his ring experience.

The punch-for-punch action returned at the end of 6th round, with Provodnikov moving forward, hurt or not. Bradley returned to move around in round 7, swinging the fight back in his favor. Provodnikov’s right eye started to swell from Bradley’s steady work. In the 9th, Bradley opened a good cut over Provodnikov’s right eye, as he continued to land calculating punches. At moments, Provodnikov would gain steam and move forward steadily, though Bradley would squash the front with calculated body blows.

Provoknidov had one last stand, connecting with a brutal left that wobbled Bradley and continued with punches that would lead to a knockdown. Yet, Bradley lasted until the end of the round and got up for a standing eight-count to end the fight.

Bradley won by unanimous decision, with the judges calling it:

judge: Raul Caiz Sr 115-112 | judge: Marty Denkin 114-113 | judge: Jerry Cantu 114-113

Overall, Bradley showed he had a tremendous chin, could withstand strong fronts, and endure fights with his boxing kills, proving to all why he deserves to be the champion.

Earlier in the night, young Jessie Vargas (21-0) met up with Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (23-0), in a welterweight bout of two unbeaten prospects that would foreshadow many aspects of the main event.

Fans were greeted with a very active first few round, as both fighters let the gloves fly. Trained by Freddie Roach, the fight seemed to favor Lucky Boy, a known hard hitter who came in having KO’d 19 of his 23 opponents. Omotoso who was clearly the stronger individual, kept catching Vargas with strong right hand punches that would land over Vargas’ jab. As they began to engage, it was apparent that Lucky Boy was winning.

Trying to prevent Omotoso from taking over the fight, Vargas seemed to recalibrate his jab and make it effective, keeping Lucky boy at a safe distance. For the rest of the fight, Vargas was able to establish a rhythm and set up combos to land points and keep Omotoso at bay, taking away that dangerous right hand.

Vargas’ jab proved to cause a lot of problems for Omotoso, neutralizing his fronts, and securing the WBC Continental Americas Welterweight belt. With Vargas’ name being thrown around for potential fights against Pacquiao and Marquez, we may see this young fighter in the spotlight sooner than later.

Final Scorecard all in favor of Vargas:

  judge: Gwen Adair 97-92 | judge: Jonathan Davis 96-93 | judge: Fritz Werner 96-93