Bradley defeats Peterson
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Lamont Peterson thought he had the right game plan in his bid to dethrone world champion Timothy Bradley on Saturday night. The only problem was that Bradley was ready for that and made adjustments of his own.
With Bradley executing an almost flawless game plan, and then some, he solidified his standing as the top fighter amongst 140-pound fighters.
In a battle of unbeaten fighters, Bradley won a 12 round unanimous decision victory before a sold-out crowd over 2,400 at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. With the victory, Bradley retained his world title.
The bout headlined a six-bout “Showtime Championship Boxing” card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions, in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions.
If there were any thoughts that Bradley was still smarting over his third round no contest decision against Nate Campbell in the same venue in August, he put them aside for his bout against Peterson. Bradley originally won by third round stoppage victory, but the California State Athletic Commission ruled that the bout should be ruled a no contest because the cut above Campbell’s eye was by an accidental head butt and not by a punch.
Peterson earned the opportunity to face Bradley when he defeated Frenchman Willy Blain in April, thus becoming Bradley‘s mandatory challenger.
Peterson began the bout by taking the fight to Bradley, in an attempt to back him up. However, Bradley showed he was going to be in for a long night by landing a hard overhand right to the head of Peterson. Bradley kept finding a home for counter right hands to the side of the head of Peterson, who found himself backing up as Bradley began to find his timing.
It was another short right hand to the side of the head of Peterson that dropped him to one knee in the third round. Peterson was not visibly hurt, but motioned with hand that the punch landed on top of the head.
Although Bradley went in for the kill, Peterson gave as good as he took, at times landing counter right hands to the head of Bradley. Solid exchanges between the two went on until the bell sounded to end the round.
“He had the right game plan, but he got careless and he was rushing in there instead of following his jab,” said Bradley, who heard chants of his last name by the pro-Bradley crowd in attendance.
As Peterson found success fighting on the inside over his shorter opponent, Bradley changed his gamelan and began to fight on the outside. Bradley went in and out of Peterson’s range, landing short lead right hands or landing left hooks to the body.
Bradley’s strong ring generalship allowed him to dictate the tempo of the fight.
Peterson began to apply more pressure in the middle rounds. He did find some success, by staying on the inside and landing to the body as well. Left hooks to the body would occasionally back Bradley up, allowing for Peterson to move forward.
However, Bradley turned the tide in his favor considerably, in the seventh and eighth rounds. Bradley found a home for landing the occasional lead left hook to the head before Peterson was able to counter.
Sensing he was down, Peterson came on in the latter rounds. Peterson stalked Bradley around the ring, but Bradley used good lateral movement to avoid getting hit flush to the head. At times, Bradley fought from the southpaw stance, successfully using angles to find openings in Peterson’s guard, landing to the head.
Both had their moments in the final round during heated exchanges. Although Peterson was behind on the judges’ scorecards, he showed great resiliency and courage in that round. He withstood Bradley’s hard body punches to land a few of his own, even catching Bradley at times to the head. However, Bradley just had too much on Peterson, securing a wide, yet hard-fought victory.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Bradley, with scores of 118-110, 119-108, and 120-107. Fightnews.com scored the bout 118-109 in favor of Bradley.
“He came out and made me fight like no one else has,” said Bradley of his former roommate back in their days as teenage amateurs abroad. “He’s a tough fighter. My conditioning was superior, even though I felt a little gassed in the seventh. I was able to get my second wind in the eighth and ninth. This is just a great fight for me, but for fight fans as well.”
Asked who he is willing to fight next, Bradley responded, “I will fight whomever they want me to fight against.”
“My game plan was to win the first round, but I got hit with two right hands,” said Peterson, who had his brother, Lightweight contender Anthony Peterson, at ringside. “I was bothered by that and I lost the round. I gave it all in the ring. I thought Bradley fought a great fight and he is a great champion.”
Bradley gave high praise to Peterson in defeat.
“Lamont showed great will. He’ll be back. I know he will be a world champ.”
Bradley, from Palm Springs, CA, improves to 25-0 with 1 NC, 11 KO’s. Peterson, from Washington, D.C., falls to 27-1, 13 KO’s.
Darchinyan KOs Rojas
Super Flyweight Vic Darchinyan retained his super flyweight titles, knocking out interim champion Tomas Rojas in the second round of a scheduled 12 round bout.
Darchinyan lost to Joseph Agbeko by a 12 round unanimous decision in his last bout in July. Rojas successfully defended his interim world title against Evans Mbamba by a 12 round unanimous decision in October.
As is the norm with the Armenian-born fighter, Darchinyan stalked his opponent around the ring. The taller and lankier Rojas boxed from the outside, hoping his awkward style would allow him to score.
Rojas was able at times to outwork Darchinyan during the first round. He was able to counter to the head and body. Darchinyan continued to press the action, throwing and landing punches, but nothing solid as the punches hit mostly Rojas’ arms an shoulders.
Towards the end of the second round, Darchinyan viciously dropped Rojas with a left hand to the head. Rojas lay underneath the ropes on the edge of the ring as referee Raul Caiz, Jr. counted to 10, ending the bout at 2:54.
“I didn’t feel any stronger at 115 pounds,” said Darchinyan, who admitted of dreaming of a rematch bout against Nonito Donaire, whom he lost to in July of 2007. “This was all about mental preparation. I just took my time and I knew that the knockout was going to come to me. He was getting hit with punches. It was only a matter of time.”
“I was doing what I was supposed to do,” said Rojas, whose seven-bout unbeaten streak was broken. “I got careless. I did not see the punch that knocked me out.”
Darchinyan, from Sydney, Australia by way of Yerevan, Armenia, improves to 33-2-1, 27 KO’s. Rojas, from Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico, falls to 32-12-1, 22 KO’s.
Hernandez decisions Narvaez
Welterweight Freddy Hernandez won a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over Octavio Narvaez.
Narvaez took the initiative in the first round, brawling his way in against the taller Hernandez and landing hooks and crosses to the head and body. Narvaez was successful, but Hernandez began to time Narvaez coming in, landing left hooks and uppercuts to the head.
Narvaez slowed down in the second half of the fight, as his punch output dropped considerably. Hernandez was able to control the tempo, keeping Narvaez at bay most of the time. Hernandez hurt Narvaez with a left hook to the head, but was unable to follow up. Hernandez cruised his way to victory in the final round.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Hernandez, with scores of 78-74, 78-74, and 80-72. Fightnews.com scored the bout 78-74 in favor of Hernandez.
Hernandez, from Mexico City, DF, Mexico, improves to 27-1, 18 KO’s. Narvaez, from Chinandega, Nicaragua, falls to 7-9-1, 4 KO’s.
Sanchez wins decision
Featherweight Salvador Sanchez won a six round majority decision over Rodrigo Aranda.
Aranda started strong in the first two rounds, landing short right crosses to the head of Sanchez. Aranda did well in boxing from the outside and countering his opponent.
Sanchez, the nephew of the late Salvador Sanchez, increased his punch output in the second half of the fight. He attacked the body of Aranda, even switching to the southpaw stance to land lead right hands to the head. Sanchez finished the bout strong in the sixth round, being the aggressor and landing hard shots to the head.
One judge scored the bout 57-57, while the other two judges scored the bout 60-54 and 59-55 in favor of Sanchez. Fightnews.com scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Sanchez.
Sanchez, from Tianguistenco, Mexico, goes to 18-3-2, 8 KO’s. Aranda, from Las Vegas, NV, drops to 8-12-2, 2 KO’s.
Kayode stops Willis
Heavyweight Lateef Kayode stopped overmatched Billy Willis in the second round of a scheduled six round bout.
With Freddie Roach in his corner, Kayode was too fast and strong for Willis. Kayode dropped Willis with a counter right hand to the head. Although Willis survived, it looked as though it was a matter of time before Kayode would end things.
Willis fought back, but was hurt with a combination to the head that wobbled him. Before Kayode launched his attack on Willis, referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:14.
Kayode, from Hollywood, CA by way of Lagos, Nigeria, improves to 9-0, 8 KO’s. Willis, from Houston, TX, falls to 11-19-1, 9 KO’s
Zappavigna deicisons Macias
Welterweight Leonardo Zappavigna won a one-sided six round unanimous decision over Sergio Macias.
Zappavigna, who was making his debut on American soil, went right after Macias. Zappavigna threw wild, but vicious hooks and crosses to the head of Macias, some stunning the veteran fighter. Macias did his best to hold on. Macias did his best to fight back, but he did not have the firepower to trade with his younger opponent.
As Zappavigna pressed the action to possibly score a knockdown, Macias’ faced reddened and a cut opened above the bridge of his nose. Macias took tremendous punishment, but was not visibly hurt. He even traded punches during the last 20 seconds of the fight with Zappavigna.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Zappavigna.
Zappavigna, from Liverpool, Australia, improves to 22-0, 15 KO’s. Macias, from Pacoima, CA, drops to 14-19, 6 KO’s.
Hernandez KOs Dominguez
In the walkout bout of the evening, Lightweight Daniel Hernandez knocked out Aaron Dominguez in the first round of a scheduled six round bout.
Dominguez boxed from the outside, even landing a few punches from the outside. However, Hernandez timed a well-placed left hook to the head that dropped Dominguez to the canvas. Dominguez was down and was counted out at 2:15.
Hernandez, from South Gate, CA, goes to 9-0, 5 KO’s. Dominguez, from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 10-5, 6 KO’s.
- Cruiserweight champion Danny Green, Interim Super Welterweight champion Alfredo Angulo, Lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, Light Heavyweight Antonio Tarver, Super Bantamweight contender Daniel Ponce De Leon, Junior flyweight Ulises Solis, Mia St. John, and former contender Alex Ramos watched the action from ringside.
- Female Junior Featherweight fighter Kaliesha West (11-1, 2 KO’s) was scheduled to face Kasha Chamblin (11-4, 5 KO’s) in a scheduled six round bout. However, a California State Athletic Commission physician recommended that the bout not go forward. No explanation was given. West lives in Moreno Valley, about 45 minutes away.
- The Arthur Abraham versus Andre Dirrell Super Middleweight bout is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino & Spa in Rancho Mirage on Saturday, March 6th.
- Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. handled the ring announcing duties during the televised portion of the card, while Michael Vale handled the undercard.