A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Undercard Bradley-Pacquiao 2- 36 great rounds
The discussion centered on Manny Pacquiao desire for revenge against Bradley but Tim Bradley had his own motives to win this fight. For Bradley, he won the first fight on the scorecard but never go the credit for his victory. Despite easily handling Marquez in their bout, Bradley was still the underdog coming into the bout and no one talked about how Bradley was hungry for recognition. In his bout with Marquez, Bradley showed high IQ in his conquest of Marquez and the question rarely asked; what did Bradley learn from his first fight in Pacquiao?
In the first bout of the Bradley-Pacquiao 2 card, featured Bryan Vasquez facing undefeated Jose Felix Jr in a junior Lightweight bout. Vasquez had lost only one fight and was hoping to inflict Felix his first loss. Over the first two rounds, Felix nailed Vasquez with big right hands but Vasquez effectively counter Felix with body shots and landed some solid left hooks to the face off his body shots.
After four rounds, it was close fight as both fighters were teeing off on each other. Vazquez had connected on more punches including power shots but Felix punches occasionally showed more pop.
Halfway through the bout, Harold Lederman had it 4 round to 2 in favor of Felix based on his big right hand but it could easily have been 4 rounds to 2 in Vasquez’s favor. In the eighth round, Felix nailed Vasquez with hard right but Vasquez continued his body shots while taking Felix best shots. Vasquez used ring savvy and his ability to adopt in the ring to keep the fight even during the first eight rounds. In the ninth round, Felix was penalized for a kneeing Vasquez in the groin in a round that Vasquez dominated most of the round. This resulted in a 10-8 round for Vasquez. Felix showed frustration as he launched wild shots and even nailed Vasquez with another low blow; resulting in a warning from the referee. The eleventh round saw Felix nailed Vasquez with two big rights but an accidental head butt opened up a cut over the right eye and Felix hurt his hands or elbow halfway through the round.
Vasquez won convincing in the ring and won a close bout on the score card as two judges had it 114-113 which included the point deduction. (Without the point deduction, it could have been a majority draw; which would have been a robbery. )
The next bout featured undefeated Jesse Vargas and undefeated Khabib Allakhverdiev with as announcer Michael Buffer noted, “Someone O has got to go. In the first round, Vargas jab controlled the action but Allakhverdiev succeeded in countering over the second half of the second round. In the fourth round, Allakverdiew stunned Vargas with a straight left and throughout the fifth round, he pressured Vargas, in which he hurt Vargas again. Allakhverdiev turned to the body starting in the third round and this was showing up in the sixth round, where Vargas slowed down his punch production. Near the end of the sixth round, Vargas went to the body over the last sixty seconds. HBO Harold Lederman had Vargas 4 rounds to 2 rounds up but just like the first fight, it could have been scored the other way.
The eighth round was a competitive fight with Allakhverdiev nailing Vargas with solid lefts whereas Vargas managed to land some solid body shots. With thirty seconds left, an accidental head-butt open up a cut over Allakhverdiev eyes and both fighters landed combinations as the bell rang. The ninth round saw another close bout as Allakhverdiev landed three lefts; the last one stunning Vargas but Vargas landed two big left hooks and two right hands that spun Allakhverdiev’s head. The fight was close going into the final three rounds, as HBO Harold Lederman had Vargas up by only one round. Allakhverdiev took control of the second half of the tenth round with solid body shots that forced Vargas to stop momentarily.
The last round reflected the whole fight as Allakhverdiev landed an eight punch combination over the first thirty seconds but over the second half, Vargas landed three left-right combinations and some solid body shots. HBO Harold Lederman had it 115-113 for Allakhverdiev but it could have been scored the other way; two of the judges had it 115-113 for Vargas. Compubox had it nearly even in punches which reflected the close nature of the fight.
Ray Beltran faced Arash Usmanee in a bout of two fighters who were invited to the party late. Usmannee was one of the punchers who throw punches in bunches and Beltran was robbed in his last bout against Ricky Burns, a fight that he dominated Burns and broke his jaw.
Over the three rounds, Usmanee boxed and moved but when Ray Beltran landed a punch, it created a thud that often sent Usmanee back on his feet. At the end of the fourth round, three vicious left hooks nearly splitting Usmanee body in half.
At the halfway mark, it was Beltran dominating the fight with the power of his shot neutralizing Usamanee’s boxing mobility. At the end of the eighth round, Beltran nailed Usamanee with several left hooks and after one of those hooks, he merely smiled at Usamanee before nailing Usamanee with another left hook followed by another smile.
In the ninth and tenth round, Usamanee landed some solid right hands from different angles as he attempted to get back in the fight. Going into the last round, Beltran landed more punches and most of his punches were power shots. Throughout the twelfth round, both fighters went for broke as Usamanee landed three rights whereas Beltran answered with left hooks. The last twenty seconds saw both men throwing and landing big shots. Beltran won a unanimous decision simply because his punches were the heavier punches and he landed more of them while being more accurate. Beltran is one of those fighters who applied his trade away from the maddening crowd and under cards but he is a solid performer who kept improving throughout his career.
The undercard provided three entertaining bouts, each exciting bouts with drama and bouts that went the distance. If nothing else, fans already got some of their money worth.