RANCHO MIRAGE, CA-The speedy Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley jump started to victory behind a right hand in dominating the stubborn and resilient Lamont Peterson to defend his hold on the WBO junior welterweight title on Saturday.
Bradley and Peterson both entered undefeated but it was the Palm Springs boxer-puncher who exited still unbeaten in front of 2,200 fans at Agua Caliente Casino who screamed and cheered for their desert hero.
“He came out and made me fight like no one ever has. He’s a tough, tough fighter,” said Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs).
After a tenuous opening two big right hands by Bradley stunned Peterson in the first round and let him know that power came behind those rights.
“My game plan was to win the first round but in the middle of the first round I got hit real hard in the middle with a couple of right hands. I was in trouble and fell behind. I got reckless,” said Peterson (27-1, 13 KOs). “I couldn’t make it up.”
Bradley agreed with that assessment.
“He had the right game plan but he got a little careless and he was rushing in there instead of following his jab,” Bradley said. “When he came in is when I nailed him.”
The Palm Springs fighter kept landing right hands and finally an overhand right dropped Peterson to his knees in the third round. That knockdown seemed to inspire Peterson who finally slipped into a more aggressive gear.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Bradley suddenly slowed down the pace and boxed and moved against the taller Peterson who attempted to load up against the swift moving desert fighter.
Peterson shortened up his punches in the seventh round as Bradley slowed down and the D.C. fighter seemingly won his first round outright.
“I felt a little gassed in the seventh round but I was able to keep on boxing and do what I had to do,” Bradley said. “My conditioning was superior.”
Bradley entered the eighth round more aggressive and returned to his heavy-handed right hand. A quick right cross stunned Peterson who quickly moved out of range.
Knowing he was ahead Bradley changed from his aggressive stance to a more controlled boxer. He kept Peterson at bay with his speed and never allowed Peterson to do what he does best: counterpunching.
After 12 rounds all three judges scored it for Bradley 120-107, 119-108, 118-110.
“He’s a great champion. I gave it all I had,” said a gracious Peterson.
Bradley also gave kudos to his pal.
“Watch Lamont Peterson he’ll be a world champion some day,” said Bradley.
WBC and WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Vic Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs) needed only two rounds to prove that he’s too strong for most 115-pounders in knocking out Mexico’s Tomas Rojas (32-12-1) with a sidewinder left hand.
Darhinyan had last fought as a 118-pound bantamweight and had problems with the heavier guys so he returned to the junior bantamweights. No problems fighting at 115 pounds. After a competitive first round the Armenian fighter powered on with left after left to blast Rojas through the ropes forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the fight at 2:54 of the second round.
“I got careless and never saw the shot coming,” said Rojas who lives and fights out of Vera Cruz.
Darchinyan was confident about a knockout win.
“I don’t feel any stronger at 115 than at 118, the switch in weights don’t mean anything to me. It’s all about mental preparation. I took my time and I let the KO come to me,” said Darchinyan who lives in Australia. “He was hitting me with punches but I was hitting him back more and with more power. It was only a matter of time before he felt my power.”
The Armenian mini powerhouse wants a rematch with the first man to beat him, IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire.
“Every night when I go to sleep or I’m preparing of a fight I’m dreaming of a rematch with Nonito Donaire,” Darchinyan said. “All it's all up to my promoter Gary Shaw.”
Shaw said that he’s been trying to make the fight happen and is currently negotiating with Donaire’s promoter Top Rank.
Australia’s Lenny Zappavigna (22-0. 15 KOs) powered through Pacoima’s Sergio Macias (14-18, 6 KOs) with blistering shots but just could not drop the sturdy veteran. After six rounds all three judges gave Zappavigna every round 60-54.
Mexico City’s Freddy Hernandez (27-1, 18 KOs) out-worked Octavio Narvaez (7-9-1, 4 KOs) despite his head butting style to win by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a welterweight bout. The scores were 78-74 twice and 80-72 for Hernandez.
The nephew of Mexico’s famed Salvador Sanchez (18-3-2, 8 KOs), who also bears the same name, won a majority decision over Las Vegas veteran Rodrigo Aranda (8-12-2) in six round featherweight contest. Sanchez' stamina and combination punching proved the difference. The scores were 57-57, 60-54, 59-55 for Sanchez.
Lateef Kayode (9-0, 8 KOs) clubbed his way to a second round technical knockout over Billy Willis (11-19-1) in a heavyweight match scheduled for six. Kayode is trained by Freddie Roach.
South Gate’s Daniel “Travieso” Hernandez (9-0, 5 KOs) clobbered Mexico’s Aaron Dominguez (10-5) for a knockout at 2:15 of the first round in a lightweight contest.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV