CHUMASH RESERVATION -- A nationwide audience saw Timothy Bradley win his first televised fight but Colombia’s hard-hitting Jaime “The Hammer” Rangel (30-10-1, 25 KOs) made him earn it on Friday.
Before a sold out crowd at the Chumash Casino, Bradley (17-0, 10 KOs) was nearly knocked down in the second round but rallied with an effective inside attack. The eight-round junior welterweight bout was televised by Showtime.
“I learned a lot in this fight,” said Bradley who was fighting under the Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Promotions banner for the first time. “He stunned me in the second round.”
Rangel, a veteran of more than 40 fights, used his strength and southpaw style to confuse Bradley.
“He was awkward, man. He threw punches from weird angles,” Bradley said. “I just had to slow it down and be patient.”
A left uppercut by the larger Rangel in the second round sent Bradley reeling toward the ropes. But the Palm Springs fighter gritted his teeth and returned to the fray with more determination. Rangel was more effective in the third round as well with some bone-jarring left hands that found the mark repeatedly. It all changed after that.
Bradley use pressure and took the fight inside to force Rangel out of his rhythm. Several right hands in the seventh round seemed to take the Colombian fighter’s strength away. A three-punch combination and some intense inside fighting by Bradley, who used his quicker hands to his advantage, made it the best round for the TV newbie.
In the eighth and final round, the two collided heads with Rangel emerging with a cut over his right eye. The ringside doctor advised referee Raul Caiz to stop the fight.
The judges scored it 79-73 for Bradley.
“I knew he was going to be tight,” said Shaw. “I expected it because it was his first time on television.”
In another featured bout on Showtime, Puerto Rico’s Mario Santiago made easy pickings of East L.A.’s Sal Garcia who couldn’t seem to muster the same intensity as in previous fights.
Santiago boxed and moved for three rounds against the taller but listless Garcia. It was soon apparent that Garcia didn’t have the same energy level as he had against two other Puerto Rican prospects in winning efforts. Not this time. Santiago seemed at a different level while Garcia seemed stuck in the mud. After taking a battering in rounds five and six, corner man Ray Alcorta threw in the towel to save Garcia from a further beating at 1:51 of the seventh round.
Americo Santos (25-1-1, 21 KOs) of Texas and Jorge Padilla (7-3-2) of Mexico City ended their junior welterweight bout in a technical draw. Padilla was cut above the left eye when he collided heads with Santos in the third round. After examining the cut, referee Jon Schorle stopped the fight at 2:19 of the third round.
A welterweight contest between Santa Maria, California’s Antonio Ojeda (14-5-3) and Puerto Rico’s Irving Garcia (14-2-1) also ended in a technical draw because of an accidental clash of heads. The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds but referee Jerry Cantu stopped the fight on advice from the ringside physician at 1:55 of the third round.
In a junior middleweight bout, James Kirkland (16-0, 15 KOs) of Texas won by technical knockout over Miami’s David Toribio (13-7, 7 KOs). Kirkland dropped Toribio twice in the third round and one final time in the fourth with a left hand to the body. Referee Jerry Cantu concluded the fight at 1:35 of the fourth round.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?