” This is not the way I wanted to win,” said Brandon Rios(32-2-1,23KO’S) who was almost teary eyed after referee Vic Drakulich stopped the fight at 1:26 of the ninth stanza disqualifying Diego Chaves(23-2,19KO’S) :” I don’t know if I would win or not, but I didn’t want the fight to end this way.” Las Vegas’ plush Cosmopolitan Hotel hosted their 10 rounds welterweight clash that was televised live by HBO Boxing After Dark.
“What did I do?” said the expression on Diego Chaves’s face after he was disqualified by referee Drakulich. That seemed to be a question on everyone’s mind in the arena, including HBO commentary crew. It was unclear why the referee stopped the fight. Bam Bam and Chaves were in a clinch pushing and tugging on each other. Then Rios exploded using some colorful expletives pointing to his eye. Referee Drakulich separated them and disqualified Chaves. Michael Buffer’s announcement that Chaves was disqualified following repeated warnings for flagrant fouls didn’t make sense.
“He kept poking me in the eye,” explained Rios who got a first win in the last three fights:” That’s not right. If you want to fight fight, but don’t fight dirty.”
Saturday’s night match- up between two young gun slingers looked like an early candidate for a fight of the year. At least it did on paper. What was supposed to be an action packed slug-fest turned into a wrestling match and an ugly foul-fest.
The fight did have a very promising start. Both pugilists came out firing heavy shots and demonstrating what they wanted to do in the ring. Chaves came out drilling sledge-hammer combinations from the distance while Rios got inside using a stiff jab to get there and stay there. It was very exciting for about a round and a half, but by the end of the second frame Diego Chaves realized that he couldn’t handle Rios on the inside. So, he began to hold and grapple and very quickly the fight turned into an ugly wrestling match. Despite the fact that referee first warned and then deducted a point from Chaves for holding in the third, the foul filled scrap continued to spiral out of control. Chaves kept holding. Frustrated Rios tried to Billy-goat his opponent. Both guys used their heads as weapons. Bam Bam got a point deducted from him for tackling his opponent to the canvass. Despite of point deductions the contest continued to go from bad to worse.
“I didn’t want to get a head butt,” said Rios, 28:” Every time I get in he grabbed me and put his fingers in my eyes. He did it more than one time- he did it a couple of times.”
Referee Drakulich deducted a second point from Chaves in the 8th stanza just for that, poking into Brandon’s eye. That is when I got a distinct feeling that the fight would end prematurely and somebody would get disqualified. Referee Vic Drakulich lost control of the fight and was losing his patience. And then in the very next round, with the contest as close on the judges’ score cards as it could be, Diego Chaves lost something too. He lost an opportunity to finish the fight. He was disqualified instead. Fans lost something as well. They lost a chance to see the dramatic conclusion of the fight and a chance to find out who was the better man in the ring. As it stands right now, all we can do is speculate that either Rios was coming on and Chaves was losing steam or that Chaves was going to be able to finish the fight moving and pot shooting Bam Bam at will. I guess we will never know, because nobody wants to see a rematch. I repeat nobody wants to see a rematch and nobody went home happy that night.
So what’s next Bam Bam?” I will go back to the gym and get more work in, “Rios said:” Then talk to Robert and Cameron and see where we want to go next.”