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15 NOVEMBER 2018


Bradley Gives Boxing Lesson to Peterson; Darchinyan KO’s Rojas

Bradley rocks Petersen: Tom Casino/Showtime
Bradley rocks Petersen: Tom Casino/Showtime

By Jason Pribila: WBO junior welterweight boxing world champion Timothy Bradley jumped out to an early lead and then coasted to an easier than expected unanimous decision victory against his old friend Lamont Peterson on Saturday Night at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California. Peterson-Bradley served as the main event of a show presented by Gary Shaw Promotions and was televised on Showtime.

“Lamont came out and made me fight like no one ever, ever has,’’ Bradley said. “He is a tough, tough fighter. This is a great night for me but also a great fight for the fans.

“I think experience played a big role tonight. He had the right game plan but got a little careless and was rushing in instead of following his jab. When he came in like that is when I nailed him.

“Lamont did what he was supposed to do and tried to break me down. I felt a little gassed in the seventh round but I got my second wind in the eighth and ninth. I felt my conditioning was superior.’’

Bradley 25-0 (11) defended the WBO title that he captured by winning an April decision against Kendall Holt. Peterson 27-1 (13), who became the mandatory challenger when he defeated Willie Blain in April, was taking a big step up in competition for the opportunity to win his first world title.

Bradley began fast, as he was clearly the fighter that was more comfortable in the spotlight. He scored early with jabs to the body, and often with right hands to the head. For two-plus rounds Peterson could not get out of the way of a right hand, and eventually went down when one landed behind his ear.

Bradley is not known as a puncher, but he seemed to be on the verge of overwhelming his opponent.

Petersen & Bradley go head to head: Tom Casino/Showtime
Petersen & Bradley go head to head: Tom Casino/Showtime
The knockdown seemed to finally settle Peterson’s nerves. Once he realized he was not being effective by trying to box from a distance, Peterson went into the trenches and began to bang away at Bradley’s body. Suddenly Peterson seemed to be on the verge of turning this fight into a war. He pounded his chest as the bell rang, even though he was down by four points on the cards.

The momentum was short lived. When Bradley returned to his corner he was sternly reminded of the game plan, which he followed to perfection for the rest of the fight.

While many considered Peterson to have the edge in boxing skills, it was Bradley that consistently beat his opponent to the punch. His movement prevented Peterson from ever being able to cut off the ring, even though it was only a cozy 17-foot in length.

The most impressive thing about Bradley’s performance is that his movement did not prevent him from throwing punches. He constantly got off first, and was able to catch Peterson before the Washington DC native could set his feet.

To Peterson’s credit he never stopped coming forward despite being out-boxed. This was his first 12-round fight, and it would be a surprise if this is the last time we see him in a major fight. He simply lost to the better man.

The official scores thankfully reflected the action in the ring. The decision was unanimous in favor of Bradley: 118-110, 119-108, and 120-107.

Timothy Bradley is getting better, and he showed tonight that he will be a tough out for anyone in the loaded junior welterweight division.

“I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight and I don’t care where I have to go,’’ Bradley said. “I’m very happy with my performance but Lamont proved that he is going to be a great world champion.’’

Said Peterson: “My game plan was to win the first round. But in the middle of it I got hit pretty hard by right-hand punches and lost the round. I was in trouble and fell behind. I got reckless during the fight. I couldn’t make it up. He’s a great champion. I gave it all I had.’’
Timothy Bradley wins: Tom Casino/Showtime
Timothy Bradley wins: Tom Casino/Showtime
Darchinyan Knocks Out Rojas

In the televised opener Vic Darchinyan made a successful return to the Super Flyweight Division where he needed less than two rounds to defend his WBA/WBC titles against Victor Rojas.

Darchinyan was giving up a height and reach advantage and was presented with the challenge of getting inside of his taller opponent. Rojas was initially successful at keeping his distance from Darchinyan, despite the size of the ring.

As time was running out in the second round, Darchinyan was faced with potentially falling behind by two points. He threw a wild left hand that Rojas ducked under, which was followed by a straight left to the side of Rojas’ head. When the proud Mexican invited Darchinyan to throw another punch, the Armenian obliged and threw a straight left that Rojas ducked into. When Rojas’ head hit off the canvas it was obvious that he would not beat the count.

Darchinyan improved to 33-2-1 and recorded his 27th knockout.

“The key to this fight was patience and showing my boxing skills,’’ Darchinyan said. “Strength-wise, fighting at 115 pounds or 118 pounds doesn’t mean anything because the difference is minimal.

“It’s all about mental preparation and tonight I was patient and took my time and let the knockout come. 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.’’

A fight fans want to see is a rematch between Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire, who knocked out Darchinyan in the fifth round July 7, 2007, on SHOWTIME.

“Every night when I go to sleep or I am preparing for a fight I am dreaming of a rematch with Nonito Donaire,’’ Darchinyan said. “It’s all up to my promoter Gary Shaw.’’

Shaw says he is trying to get the fight made.

Rojas felt he was on the way to an upset until he got caught.

“I was doing what I was supposed to do, which is to box him and keep him away, but I got careless and I never saw the punch coming,’’ Rojas said. “I am very disappointed because I knew that I could beat this guy.’’
Darchinyan's left hook takes out Rojas: Tom Casino/Showtime
Darchinyan's left hook takes out Rojas: Tom Casino/Showtime
Darchinyan wins: Tom Casino/Showtime
Darchinyan wins: Tom Casino/Showtime

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