In a brutal slug fest in front of a thunderous crowd of twenty two hundred at Aqua Caliente Hotel and Casino in Rancho Mirage, California, on Saturday night, a local favorite Timothy “The Desert Storm “Bradley (25-0,11KO’S) retained his WBO title via a unanimous decision over a previously unbeaten and very determined challenger Lamont Peterson (27-1,13KO’S).Judges scored the contest: 118-110,119-108,120-107 all in favor of Bradley. However the scorecards did not indicate how exciting and competitive the fight was.
Both combatants came out blazing throwing hard shots. In the middle of the first Bradley landed a right hand right on a button that should have dropped any pugilist, but Peterson, despite being stunned took it well.” I got hit with two right hands,” said Peterson: I was hurt and I fell behind.” Bradley was landing right hands at will in the second round and seemed to be taking control of the fight with his agility and speed. In the third after Bradley knocked down Petersen with a roundhouse right hand to the temple, the challenger showed his resolve and turned the contest into a war of attrition; punch for punch both warriors landed heavy blows to the body. By the fifth stanza Peterson’s resolve started to pay dividends as he seemed more effective on the inside in the trenches. Surprisingly Bradley fought the sixth from the distance and was getting the better of his taller opponent. Petersen was very determined and pressed the action to the final bell making the fight very competitive. “I left it all in the ring,” said disappointed challenger after the fight.
“He made me fight like no one ever has, “said the elated champion: He is a great, great fighter. Tonight was great for me, but also great for the fans. I felt my conditioning was superior. I got my second wind in the eighth and ninth rounds and did what I had to do. What’s next for the local champion? “I will fight whoever they want me to fight,” said Bradley in conclusion.
Super flyweight Vic Darchinyan (33-2-1,27KO) defended his WBC and WBA crowns in a spectacular fashion, stopping a crafty veteran from Vera Cruz, Mexico, Tomas Rojas (32-12-1,22KO’S) within two rounds. After a slow first stanza in which Darchinyan couldn’t land any significant punches, two crushing left hands ended the night for Rojas. Referee Raul Caiz Jr stopped the contest at 2:55 of the second frame as Mexican veteran laid listless on the canvass.
“I was doing what I was supposed to do, boxing well,” said Rojas:” I just didn’t see the punch.” The Armenian champion did he what he was supposed to do and scored a quick knock out to redeem himself from last poor performance against a bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko.” I took my time and let knock out come to me,” said Darchinyan after the fight:” It was only a matter of time before he felt my power. I don’t feel any stronger at 115 than at 118. Switch in weight doesn’t mean anything to me.”
When asked about the future, the champion said:” Every night when I go to sleep I am dreaming about the fight with Nonito Donaire. It’s all up to my promoter now!”
Australian welterweight Lany Zappa (22-0,15KO’S) charged out of his stool like a bull out of a shoot in a rodeo. He battered his opponent from Pacoima, California Sergio Macias (14-19,6KO) for six rounds. By the third round Macias who was continuously rocked by the right hand looked a bloody mess, but he was fighting back and thus was allowed to hear the final bell. All three judges scored the contest 60-54 for Zappa who impressed American fight fans in his debut.
Salvador Sanchez ll( 18-3-28KO’S), a cousin of late ring great Salvador Sanchez, had to work hard for a majority decision victory in a six round featherweight contest with a veteran from Las Vegas, Rodrigo Aranda (8-12-2,2KO’S). Judges scored it 57-57 and 60-54, 59-55 for Sanchez.
In a tougher than expected eight round welterweight contest, rising prospect Freddy Hernandez topped Nicaraguan veteran Octavio Navarez (7-9-1,4KO) with a unanimous decision. Judges scored the fight 78-74, 78-74, and 80-72, but scorecards did not indicate how closely contested the bout really was. Navarez pressed the action and kept throwing punches, but Fernandez was landing more effective blows and turned it around with body hooks.
In the opening bout of the evening, yet another Freddie Roach protégée, heavyweight Lateef Kayode (9-0,8KO’S) stopped Billy Willis(11-19-1,9 KO’S) from Houston, Texas at 1:14 of the second stanza. Kayode dominated the fight from the opening bell and dropped his nemesis with an overhand right in the first round. Willis seemed to have lost his desire to fight from that point on, referee asked him if he wanted to continue, but he did make it through the end of the first only to get overwhelmed in the second.