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Bradley defeats Vargas in crazy finish

Timothy BradleyBy Dan Ambrose: Referee Pat Russell may have saved Tim Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) from getting knocked out by halting the fight 10 seconds early to preserve Bradley’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Russell thought that the bell to end the fight had rung, which is why he halted the fight early. The stoppage by Russell was a life saver for Bradley, because moments before that, Vargas had badly hurt Bradley with a big right hand and had him out on his feet. With the 10 seconds to go in the fight, Vargas would have had a decent chance of finishing off Bradley because he literally out on his feet.

The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 117-111, 115-112.

With this victory, Bradley captured the interim WBO welterweight title. The title will likely wind up the full WBO title in the near future.

The quick stoppage will almost surely result in a rematch between Bradley and Vargas, because the time that was left in the round clearly kept Vargas from being able to finish off a badly hurt Bradley. If Bob Arum of Top Rank needed an excuse to match these two guys together again on HBO, he just got it with this controversial ending. However, you would hope that the HBO executives say no to a rematch, because Vargas is just too limited, too slow, and too economical with his punches to have a chance of beating Bradley in a rematch. They could have 100 rematches and I see Vargas losing every time. You have to remember that Vargas is a guy who barely beat Antonio DeMarco, and who was given a controversial decision over Anton Novikov recently.

Bradley ended up with a badly swollen left cheek.

“There was only 10 seconds left in the fight. It wouldn’t have mattered. He just caught me with a good shot. I held him like my momma. Look at my eyes. In 10 seconds left, I would have held on my title. I’ll fight anybody. I’ll even go up to 154. I don’t care.”

Bradley badly schooled Vargas from rounds one through eleven. It wasn’t even close. The only thing that Vargas did in the entire fight was land that big right hand in the 12th round. Other than that, it was all Bradley.

Vargas didn’t show any sense of urgency in letting his hands go. He was constantly waiting and letting Bradley take the fight to him. Bradley was able to hit Vargas at will with shots in the fight. Occasionally, Vargas would land something, but it wasn’t enough to stop Bradley from coming forward and attacking him. Vargas was getting really pasted much of the time.

I’d be really surprised if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum sets up a rematch between Bradley and Vargas. That’s not been his style in the controversial fights involving Diego Chaves and Bradley, and Chaves and Brandon Rios. Vargas isn’t a big enough name for Arum to bother with a rematch. Instead, he’ll look to match Bradley against the likes of Sadam Ali, unless he can get a big name like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Gennady Golovkin to fight him.

***

Other boxing results on the card:

Abraham Lopez UD 4 Joann Valenzuela
Ed Brown TKO 2 Jose Maruffo

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