Welterweights Timothy Bradley (31-1-1) and Jessie Vargas (26-0) meet on Saturday night at StubHub Center in Carson, California, in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO title.
Entering the bout, Bradley has victories over Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Devon Alexander and Lamont Peterson, but has not won in his last two fights. Vargas has lacked distinguished opponents before Bradley, but held off Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev in April 2014 to win the IBO and WBA Light Welterweight titles.
Bradley is trained by Joel Diaz. Vargas is trained by Erik Morales. The referee is Pat Russell.
Tale of the Tape
Timothy Bradley Jessie Vargas
Age: 31 26
Height: 5’6 5’11
Weight: 146.4 146.4
Reach: 69” 72”
Stance: Orthodox Orthodox
Record: 31-1-1, 12 KO 26-0, 6 KO
International Business Times will be scoring the fight and providing analysis throughout the bout.
The first minute of the round involved Bradley going to the body. Vargas looked comfortable but was not as active as Bradley. There was no definitive punch in the round aside from a hard right at the end by Bradley.
In an active round, Vargas landed a clean left hook to the body. But Bradley battled back with some hard rights. Vargas seemed to gain some confidence with some good body punches. Tough round to call, but it leans toward Vargas.
In an active first minute, Bradley connected on a good uppercut and made Vargas miss a lot. The round slowed in the final minutes, though both boxers are looking very fast. Both boxers are taking decent chances, but no serious power punches.
Bradley using big right hands, but Vargas has been effective with the jab. Vargas looked sharper in this round but it seemed that Bradley is the more active fighter. He forced Vargas to stumble at one point with a left.
Bradley moved Vargas around the ring in the first minute. Bradley also provided a good left hook at about 1:32 mark, though it probably didn't hurt Vargas much. Vargas has provided the impression that he can take a punch, and also has the ability to land a harder power punch. Vargas ended the round with a good exchange.
A rather inactive first half of the round. This was a very tough round to call since neither boxer got much in until the final 10 seconds. Seems like Vargas is aware that this fight is close.
Bradley got in a good overhand right at about the 2:30 mark. The rest of the round lacked a serious sequence. The final 10 seconds had no action. Vargas can't afford to be this inactive.
The early pace of the round is not working to Vargas' benefit, yet he landed some good punches at about the 1:15 mark. At about the :42 mark, Bradley threw a punch that got him tangled in the ropes. There is not enough from Vargas at this point.
A solid overhand right at about the 2:30 mark from Bradley. Vargas failed to show any assertiveness aside from a left to the body, but it didn't seem to be enough to win the round, as Bradley bounced around and landed more punches. Closer round than it looked.
This round was more entertaining than the last few, but that's not saying much. Vargas was more assertive, but Bradley seems to be the more effective boxer.
Bradley took a hard punch in the first half of the round, but it wasn't hard enough to phase Bradley. Bradley's left eye is a little swolen. Another tough round to call.
An absolutely shocking ending. Referee Pat Russell seemed to stop the fight and say "No, no, no... fight's over." But he didn't call the fight, after Vargas gave a strong right power punch to Bradley's chin with 10 seconds remaining. Russell instead called the round over early in a disappointing conclusion. Vargas had an excellent chance to knock out Bradley in the final moments. Bradley was wobbling and not fighting back, but with just seven seconds left.
Overall, this was a good fight if you like tactical boxing. This fight could have ended with a knockout punch, but the final round was called too soon. In the post-fight interview, Russell admitted to making a mistake.
Bradley wins in a unanimous decision
116-112, 117-111, 115-112
International Business Times had the fight in favor of Bradley, 115-112