Bradley An Ace, Till Late in 12th; Weird Ending Mars HBO Main Event

Tim Bradley wanted to prove he’s still an A grade guy and Jessie Vargas wanted to show he’s a big stage fighter on Saturday night. The two squared off in Carson, CA., at Stub Hub, and on HBO.

It was Bradley who proved his point, with violent intensity and surety; his sturdy physique and non-stop aggression had Vargas on the back foot, mentally and physically. There were no knockdowns, and it wasn’t a beat-down, but Bradley was quite impressive. Till the last part of the 12th…when Bradley got caught by a right as he was throwing. He was out on his feet…and the fight was stopped, by ref Pat Russell.

But he stopped it with about four seconds left, because he thought he heard the bell. He in fact he heard the ten second alert.

The judges weighed in after order was restored and some clarity achieved; 116-112, 117-111, 115-112, for Bradley.

What a wild ending; Bradley was in total control and got caught late while giving fans their money’s worth. He said after he would have hugged and held and would have made it to the final bell, even if the ref didn’t pull an early plug. He said he’d be fine with a rematch.

“I didn’t go anywhere, baby,” Bradley said. “I didn’t go down, see how strong my legs are.” The winner said he was irked he got hurt late, and he got lazy and careless and got timed.

They hugged after, and Vargas asked for a rematch. Bradley seemed open to it.

Vargas told Max, who said he should have had an extra seven seconds, that he would have put Tim out. It cost him the fight, possibly, he said, not certainly. And what took so long to get that power punch? It was my mistake, he said, he thought he was having great luck with the jab. “We start off where we left off,” in a rematch, he told Kellerman.

“I thought I heard the bell,” Russell told Max Kellerman after. “What I thought I heard was the bell,” he reiterated. Max asked if he felt like he screwed up. He said it was an honest call, he said.

Bradley, age 31, was 146.5, to 146.5 for the 26 year old Vargas. Bradley was 158, Vargas 156 on fight night.

The interim WBO 140 pound crown was on the line.

In the first, the 26-0 (9 Kos entering; living in Vegas) popped a jab. Bradley, from Cali, with a 31-1-1-1 NC was busy. He started out rollicking, in fact. Bradley looked more muscled than we’ve seen, and said he’d look to be a power hitter. A left hook to body right follow did indeed smart on Vargas.

In the second, Bradley kept on pressing being busier. Power stung Tim then a few times. In the third, we saw TB pressing, and what was the Vargas strategy? He snapped a jab, again, hung right there with the vet, an ex champ. It was a tight round…Trainer Morales liked the jab, especially. “You come to win, round by round,” he said. He asked for combos.

In the fourth, they rumbled. Tim looked to land the bomb more often, Vargas to pile up points more so. Trainer Joel Diaz told him to have fun, but be smart. Bradley landed more power in the round.

In the fifth, Bradley banged to the body. Blood came from the Vargas nose. A nice exchange jazzed the punters late. A right onto the forehead worked for Vargas. Morales asked for combos, said, “C’mon, let’s go.”

In the sixth, Bradley dictated pace. Again, they traded end of round. Jim Lampley called the action “remarkable” to this point.

In the seventh, Tim landed cleaner and cleaner. Diaz called it a dominating round. It was. The trainer said Vargas was gassing out.

In the eighth, Bradley kept up the intensity edge. He bulled Vargas, once again.

In the ninth, a right clanged on Vargas’ head. His coinfidence was not in play. In the tenth, Bradley kept on keeping on. Lampley said Vargas was not showing he’d ever get to the Bradley level in this bout. Diaz asked for a liver shot after..In the 11th, we saw swelling on the eye of both men. A small cut was on the Bradley left eye lid. Vargas edged forward, knowing he needed a big finish. He was busier but not enough for Morales. He called it a close fight, though..In the 12th, Tim bounced, took some time, and Vargas didn’t press it. Then he landed a left hook, as Tim wasn’t as busy as in previous rounds. He snapped a jab, at distance, looked to not get caught. He did get caught, and Bradley was out on his feet. The ref thought he heard the bell, and stopped the fight, and Vargas thought he won via stoppage…but there was time on the clock. Bizarro end of fight!

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Wow! TB is one tough-arse and lucky-arse little man. And it is probably time for referee Pat Russell to roll it in. He can become a talking head. But he might just be finished as a ref. a punch-drunk pug suppose to hear bells, not a ref. I think that ref Russell did believe that he heard the final bell, because he does have a ringing in his ears that a lot of now late middle-aged Vietnam veterans have. I don't mean to be telling his business, but I'm just saying. Holla!


-michaelabii :

Bradley did OK with a back pedaling Vargas who really should have imposed or at least attempted to impose himself on Bradley. P. Russell though a great referee should consider retirement. Mistakes like that can cost a fighters career. I believe Vargas may have ended the fight with one clear shot. It can and has happened even with only 10 seconds left. Otherwise a solid effort by both fighters. I do see some slippage in Bradley though. He has lost some speed and I think his punch resistance is now questionable. Vargas can become a better fighter once he finds his true ring identity. I'm not sure El Terrible or even Roy Jones are the ones who can provide that blueprint. I think he would do well with Joel Diaz as a trainer.


-DaveB :

Like they kept saying all night, Bradley was leaving himself open. Max said he hasn't been caught YET. Well in the 12th he did get caught. It was a shame that it ended that way but what can you do? Bradley should have won and we should be moving on. Vargas should have had his chance to see what might have been. I think Bradley would have weathered the storm. I remember Kendall Holt leaving him for dead and that was an early round, if not the first. He has remarkable powers and some how is able to hang on while out on his feet. He does get careless at time and pays a big price for it. No one has knocked him out YET.


-dino da vinci :

@DaveB. Half a congrats for making it halfway to the thousand club. Enjoy reading your work. In his prime, it's my believe that Pat Russell was the best 3rd man in the ring in the sport's history. The clip I saw of the ending has Bradley blocking a Vargas punch before what Pat thought was the conclusion of the bout. While I don't believe it would have changed the outcome of the bout, every fighter is entitled their 180 seconds to work with and of which Vargas needed all of them and didn't get. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.


-amayseng :

Tim dominated for the most part JV could not keep up and was out of his league by the mid rounds. After he was hurt, although on shaky legs, Tb blocked a left hook to the body and then two left hooks to the head with his glove then grabbed and held. Meaning he was of sound mind and would have made it out of the round with 7 seconds left when PR separated the two fighters. no need for a rematch JV was out classed easily.


-Shoulder Roll Defense :

TB fought one of the weaker individuals that he could have fought. Jessie Vargas should have 3 defeats on his record and has been the benefactor of at least two gift decisions. The real question in my opinion is how does Tim stack up against the elite at 147? Thurman starches him, Khan would be a 50/50 fight, Floyd out classes him, Manny has beat that a$$ twice, Kell Brook would be the betting favorite (rightfully so), Crawford out boxes him too if he comes up. I could see Tim beating Danny Garcia if he boxed and avoided Danny's hook. The fight that I would most like to see him in though is verses Shawn Porter. They are essential the same fighters stylistically in my opinion with Shawn having more power. That would be a exciting fight.


-flackoguapo :

@DaveB. Half a congrats for making it halfway to the thousand club. Enjoy reading your work. In his prime, it's my believe that Pat Russell was the best 3rd man in the ring in the sport's history. The clip I saw of the ending has Bradley blocking a Vargas punch before what Pat thought was the conclusion of the bout. While I don't believe it would have changed the outcome of the bout, every fighter is entitled their 180 seconds to work with and of which Vargas needed all of them and didn't get. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.
I see it similarly. Bradley pulled some very wily and coordinated parries with both hands after he got caught flush with the right hand. In my opinion, I think Bradley makes it out of the round even with another knockdown because he just would of had to beat the count since there was 7 seconds left in the 12th. But still a disadvantage for Vargas who had his best chance at winning the fight during that short period. Bradley should not have to defend this win and who remembers Bradley (smartly) taking a knee after taking that huge shot from Provodnikov to win out the fight in the closing moments of the 12th?. Imo, he was more out of it in that fight and still managed to have that type of composure shows he can handle himself unlike most


-Radam G :

Pundits and boksing peeps just like high drama. TB was fine. If he would have been in an old 15-round scrap, TB would have finished that round and got into JV's arse the next three. Nobody kayos TB. He is one tough-arse little man. But he needs to go back to his old self of straight scrapping with speed, instead of trying to power punch. Puncher are born, not made. Hopefully now TB realizes that. And will now get rid of the snake oil salesman on his team. And get off that new diet of red meat and syet. It has slowed you down. And is beginning to cause you to swell and cut. That meat syet is breaking down the bounce and elastic in TB's mug. Holla!


-Radam G :

Pundits and boksing peeps just like high drama. TB was fine. If he would have been in an old 15-round scrap, TB would have finished that round and got into JV's arse the next three. Nobody kayos TB. He is one tough-arse little man. But he needs to go back to his old self of straight scrapping with speed, instead of trying to power punch. Puncher are born, not made. Hopefully now TB realizes that. And will now get rid of the snake oil salesman on his team. And get off that new diet of red meat and syet. It has slowed you down. And is beginning to cause you to swell and cut. That meat syet is breaking down the bounce and elastic in TB's mug. Holla!


-DaveB :

Thanks for the half congrats. Like in life the first 100 years are the hardest, so I've been told and I think the first 500 posts are the hardest. Anyway Tim Bradley just has a lot of brawl in him. It is not to his best advantage. I'm wondering if he, the same as Broner, would be better served at a lower weight. I doubt he will do that so using a boxing style is definitely what he needs to use against these killers, not slugging and giving them the advantage. Although in this fight he really won 75% of the fight. Vargas is a good kid and an okay fighter. He may even win the title one day but he will not hold it long if he does and he will not be a strong champion if he were to hold if a few fights. Bradley can move on and not rematch due to just one punch in a fight he dominated. He didn't get kayoed, probably wouldn't have and shouldn't have to rematch because of the hail Mary punch. He will win again. Why don't fighter's earn their title shots like they used to instead of crying for rematches? I noticed how Bradley had no hesitancy saying he would do it again here but I sure didn't hear him say that for another go at Provodinov. LOL Provodinov brings the pressure and pain against his style.


-stormcentre :

Can't TB drink cherry juice and suck watermelon seeds to compensate for his love of meat (slowing him down) and stupidity in thinking he can punch; when he's not a born puncher? :) :)