After the controversy of the Benavidez win over Herrera was starting to cool; Timothy Bradley Jr. 31-1-1 12KO’s fought Diego Chaves 23-2-1 19KO’s to a draw in a fight that many had Bradley winning by a wide margin to keep that controversy train rolling. Unlike the first fight of the night this wasn’t a case of one fighter laying on the ropes and counter punching while the other shoe shined away, Bradley cleanly out boxed and outhustled Chaves while landing good power shots throughout the fight.
Diego Chaves was coming off a loss by DQ to Brandon Rios in a foul filled fight that saw head butting and wrestling. Bradley who has been known for head clashes and well, you guessed it they clashed heads thrice, thrice I say!
Bradley who may have suffered a fractured orbital bone because of the way the swelling was so pronounced, boxed well. Chaves countered well in spots and landed good right hands here and there but didn’t appear to land enough punches to merit winning the fight 116-114 on one of the cards.
The official scores were 116-111 Chaves, 115-113 Bradley, and 114-114 a draw.
The first four rounds of the fight saw Bradley dominating the action landing big shots from the outside and getting inside to land good combinations then turning out. Chaves started to find his mark more after the fifth round as Bradley’s eye was swelling shut from an accidental head butt in the second round. Chaves landed some good counter right hands but could never hurt Bradley the same way Provodnikov did.
Bradley, never known for his punching power landed lots of good left hooks and overhand rights that looked good but had little effect on the aggressive fighter from Argentina.
While Chaves did fight well it’s hard to see him winning the fight on any scorecard, even CJ Ross’s. The problem I think is Bradley’s wide swinging punches that may not look pretty and crisp put an image in the mind of the judges that Bradley is fatigued and not as crisp as his opponent, thus taking more damage.
Either way Bradley stated after the fight “I thought the decision was horrible but hey, I’m not a judge”. “There was a lot of head butts early on”. On moving up in weight Bradley said “everything’s a possibility absolutely.”
Andy Lee 34-2 24KO’s stopped Matt Korobov 24-1 14KO’s in the sixth round landing a beauty of a right hook that rocked Korobov and had him off balance. Lee smelled the upset in the air and followed up with a flurry of unanswered punches forcing referee Kenny Bayless to jump in and halt the action.
In what many believed was going to be the best fight of the night on HBO’s card at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; Lee won his first title in a fight that put a stamp on his return to the highest levels of the 160lb middleweight division.
Korobov who was originally slated to face former WBO champ Peter Quillin, whom backed out of the fight and relinquished the title didn’t fight with the aggression needed to win.
Following the fight in an emotional interview with commentator Max Kellerman, Lee dedicated the fight to the late Emmanuel Steward in a scene that pulled the tears right out of your eyes. Steward was like a father figure to Andy Lee and had told him that he would one day become a world champion. Steward passed away in October 2012 during a time when Lee had suffered a tough KO loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and was going through one of the lowest points of his career.
Steward took Lee into his home and was more than a trainer, he was a father figure to him. Rest easy Manny he got that title.