RANCHO MIRAGE, CA.-Two seemingly explosive junior welterweight world title fights ended in duds due to injuries but you won’t hear the winners Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Devon Alexander complaining.
Bradley was expecting his greatest challenge for the WBO junior welterweight title from Nate Campbell and Alexander was fighting for the vacant WBC title against Great Britain’s Junior Witter. There was action, but not enough of it for the fans.
A sold out crowd of more than 2,300 at Agua Caliente Casino saw Bradley (25-0, 12 KOs) successfully defend his WBO title when Campbell’s cut left eye forced the referee to stop the fight at the end of the third round.
Just when it was beginning to get exciting.
In Bradley’s fight against Florida veteran boxer-puncher Campbell, much was expected between the young rising star from Palm Springs and the fiery former lightweight world champion. But a cut over Campbell’s left eyebrow saw ringside physician Howard Baer look at the cut at the end of the third round and advised referee David Mendoza to stop the fight. The referee had ruled the cut was caused by a punch and not an accidental clash of heads. According to California rules, the fight was called a technical knockout victory for Bradley.
Campbell vehemently protested the stoppage.
“It was a head butt. A cut like that was from a head butt not from a punch,” said Campbell (33-6-1, 25 KOs), who argued with the referee declaring Bradley the winner. “How can they call it a TKO? It was a head butt, its’ televised.”
According to the three judges Bradley won all three rounds.
“He showed his face and I was victorious. I attacked. The ref was doing his job,” said Bradley about Campbell’s complaints. “I was just doing my job, it didn’t matter. He was getting older and older throughout the fight.”
Bradley’s speedy combinations were proving effective in the first three rounds, but most of the fans were waiting for Campbell to begin using is veteran guile. The cut ended the fight and now the Floridian is seeking a rematch.
No arguments from Bradley.
“Easy money,” said Bradley. “Easy money.”
Campbell said it’s not over.
Lamont Peterson, who is next up for Bradley if there is no rematch with Campbell, said he thought the Palm Springs fighter was ahead.
“He was winning the fight,” said Peterson.
WBC title winner
Former world champion Junior Witter, who lost his title to Bradley, suddenly walked from his stool after the eighth round and congratulated Devon Alexander to his surprise and give the vacant WBC junior welterweight title to the American by technical knockout at the end of the eighth round.
Witter said he injured his left elbow and could not continue.
“I injured my left hand I couldn’t get the hit I wanted to and lost the power in my left hand,” explained Witter (37-3-2, 22 KOs) who seemed ahead on points to numerous fight writers. “Every time I punched I felt a jolt in my left elbow. It wouldn’t allow me use my power.”
Alexander looked both ways after Witter congratulated him in between rounds.
“I got it,” said Alexander (19-0, 12 KOs) of St. Louis. “I want to stay humble. That’s why I train so hard.”
Witter used his speed and awkwardness to offset Alexander’s pressure. But from the fourth round on, Witter could not land a left jab and switched to southpaw where he seemed to be more successful and landed plenty of right jabs.
“I felt the fight was quite even. I had a hairline fracture to my left hand six months ago, I felt like I re-injured it again in the fourth round. The pain would move from my hand to a joint in my elbow and wouldn’t allow me the punching power,” said Witter. “If you noticed, I tried to switch it and finish with my left and I couldn’t.”
The judges remarkably gave Alexander almost every round perhaps because he was the constant aggressor. But Witter landed the cleaner blows.
Unable to find a bantamweight willing to fight, Kaliesha West (11-1, 2 KOs) accepted Rolanda Andrews (8-8-1, 4 KOs) a full-fledged featherweight with heavy punches. But the Moreno Valley fighter used her speed and punch volume to win a six round unanimous decision over the fighter from Atlanta. The judges scored it 59-55 twice and 58-56 for West.
West’s had the speed advantage but Andrews has that left handed power that neutralizes the Moreno Valley’s speed. Most of the first round was spent checking each other’s moves and footwork.
In the second round Andrews began finding a home for her right hook that repeatedly landed. After one hook, West began moving her jaw and Andrew jumped after her, but was unable to follow it up.
“I changed my mouthpiece the last minute and I had to get used to it,” said West.
Andrews kept the right hooks coming in the second round. West’s combinations and quick right hands were finding the target, but then Andrews would land that right hook. A red mark on West left cheekbone was visible.
In the third round Andrews began to tire. Though she kept landing right hooks and occasional left hands, West began firing combinations that left her opponent covering up.
With Andrews tiring, especially toward the second minute of the last two rounds, West picked up her punch count and began loading up the points against the bigger and heavier fighter.
“I was listening to her breath and I hear it getting heavier in the third round. So I knew I should pick it up at the end of the round in order to finish it,” West said.
In the final two rounds West began to press Andrews carefully in the first minute before slipping into another gear. Her speed and punch output convinced the judges on the scorecards 59-55 twice and 58-56.
“I felt the difference with her being bigger immediately,” said West. “Usually when I hit someone in a fight they back up, she didn’t let up.”
La Puente’s Abe “Chamaco” Lopez (8-0, 7 KOs) only needed 16 seconds to land a left hook to the body of Las Vegas fighter Edward Utorov (7-11) in the first round.
Riverside’s Albert Herrera (4-0, 3 KOs) stopped Montana’s John Red Tomahawk (3-5, 3 KOs) at 2:33 of the first round. Herrera landed a left hook to floor Tomahawk on the first knockdown and followed it up with several left uppercuts on the second knockdown of a junior middleweight bout.
Ontario’s Jonathan Arellano (2-0) stopped Escondido’s Fernando Moreno (0-1) at 2:49 of the second round in a junior featherweight fight.
Miami’s John Jackson (15-1, 13 KOs) scored two knockdowns in winning by unanimous decision against Indio’s Carlos Hernandez (14-8-1) in a rugged 10-round lightweight fight. Judges scores were 97-91 twice and 97-92 for Jackson.
Heavyweight Demetrius King (15-17, 13 KOs) knocked out Bowie Tupou (18-1, 14 KOs) 52 seconds of the second round.