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Old 29-06-15, 18:35   #1
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Boxing Bradley Wins Title Against Vargas >Scorecard /Reaction

Timothy Bradley Jr. vs. Jessie Vargas: Winner, Scorecard and Reaction

Bleachers, 29 Jun, 2015

It wouldn't be boxing if something bizarre didn't happen on a fairly regular basis. Tim "Desert Storm" Bradley (32-1-1) won via unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas (26-1) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Saturday, but the ending was really strange.

HBO has the official scorecards:

Official BradleyVargas judges scorecards:

116-112, 117-111, 115-112 all in favor of @TimBradleyJr who improves to 32-1-1 with the victory.

Bradley won the interim WBO welterweight title with the victory, but that seemed like an afterthought after the drama at the end of the bout. Bradley controlled most of the fight with effective aggressiveness, good counterpunching on the inside and assertiveness. He built a significant lead on the judges' scorecards and was cruising until the 2:45 mark of the 12th and final round.

Vargas landed a titanic counter right hand that would have turned the lights out of most mortal fighters. On the chin of a warrior like Bradley, though, the effects weren't quite as drastic. Desert Storm was badly hurt and looked to be severely dazed, but he didn't go down.
He was moving and holding, but he was still trying to clear the cobwebs.

The 10-second warning sounded, and referee Pat Russell apparently thought the sound was the bell. With Vargas bearing down with four seconds left in the fight, Russell stopped the action. The veteran referee believed the round and fight had concluded, but the fighters thought Vargas had been awarded a TKO victory.

The fight ended abruptly, and the newest boxing controversy was born. HBO Boxing has the closing sequence of the bout;

"What I thought I heard was the bell." - Referee Pat Russell in defense of the premature fight stoppage

We don't know for sure, but it seems hard to imagine that Vargas would have stopped Bradley with such a small amount of time remaining in the fight. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis shared the same opinion;

Bradley easily won the fight! He's a veteran and that last 10 secs wouldn't have changed the end in my opinion.

When the fight was over, Vargas was understandably upset. He asked for a rematch, and per HBO Boxing, Bradley accepted

Bradley has to have the worst luck of any fighter in the sport. All he does is fight his heart out, but misfortune and unintelligent approaches seem to rob him of the respect he deserves. Bradley won a decision over Manny Pacquiao in 2012, but he was maligned because many considered the result a poor decision.

He then fought through a horrible game plan against the one-dimensional Ruslan Provodnikov in 2013 and wound up taking a ton of damage in a physically costly win. In his last fight, Bradley had a win taken from him by weird scorecards against Diego Chaves. The fight was incorrectly scored a draw.

This time, he was outworking Vargas and got careless late. He was caught with a big shot that created an opening for more controversy. Now what should have been an indisputable victory has some unwanted drama.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

This is Bradley's boxing life.

A rematch might be mildly entertaining, but unless Bradley does something strange with his approach—which is possible—he should prove superior to Vargas again. Somehow, HBO is going to make sure this one gets done a second time.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Some might see the ending as a bad break for Vargas, but perhaps it wasn't. On the strength of that big shot and the uncertainty created by the ending, there's room for the illusion that he might still be an elite fighter.
Based on that glimmer of hope, Vargas will probably get another chance to prove he's the real deal.
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