Diego Chaves (left) was disqualified by referee Vik Drakulich. | Photo: HBO Boxing
(LAS VEGAS) -- The capacity crowd inside the trendy Chelsea Ballroom in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas expected a war between popular Mexican-American Brandon Rios and Argentinean knockout artist Diego Chaves. They got the war, but were served an unfortunate foul-plagued battle that ended with Chaves being disqualified.
Rios and his foe tore into each with reckless abandon early on; Chaves was as wild as ever with lethal bombs coming from every angle imaginable while Rios smothered him and slugged away on the inside. Each round saw both land several thudding blows to the head and body, but neither man was ever in any real danger. Though there a few times when each were shaken by some of the hard shots, there were no knockdowns in the tussle.
But what started out as a promising slugfest eventually turned into a grimy, ugly foul-plagued match though only Chaves was targeted by veteran referee Vic Drakulich.The first time Chaves had a point taken was in the third when Drakluich scolded him for repeated holding.
The action continued and they both tore into each other whenever possible, but the action slowly eroded into a quasi back alley brawl. Chaves was continually warned for holding, but in the fifth, Rios threw his nemesis to the canvas during a heated clinch battle. Drakulich took a point from the Oxnard fighter.
The dirtiness continued and in the eighth. Chaves was again penalized a point for holding. The crowd lustily booed Drakulich, though the fouling never ended. While Chaves got on his bike in the latter half of the eighth and early portion of the ninth, Rios (32-2-1, 22 KOs) pressed the issue and goaded him into a phone booth battle. Eventually, Chaves obliged and when they continued to maul and clinch, Chaves held onto Rios’ head and hit him several times. Drakulich had seen enough and disqualified Chaves, officially ending the fight at 1:26 of the ninth.
Rios charged after him afterward, but thankfully a riot was prevented. Chaves, who fell to 23-2 (19) was actually ahead 75-74 on two of the three ringside judges’ scorecard at the time of the DQ.
Kovalev Survives Early “Knockdown”, Flattens Caparello
Russian light heavyweight bomber Sergey Kovalev was ruled down in the first round by referee Sparkle Lee, even though replays clearly showed it was a slip. Still, that 10-8 opening round was all Blake Caparello took home with him because the end was just around the corner.
In the second, Kovalev delivered a thunderous right to the body, flooring Caparello with it. Caparello was able to climb back to his feet, but Kovalev was just getting warmed up. Once the fight resumed, he threw a flurry of punches, punctuated by a right to the face.
Caparello again was felled and it was obvious he was not going to last much longer. Lee allowed him to continue but the Russian sealed his fate with a nasty flurry in the corner. Caparello crumbled again and Lee waived it off, the official end coming at the 1:47 mark of the second.
Vargas Squeaks Past Novikov to Stay Unbeaten
Local fighter Jessie Vargas had one of his toughest tests to date in the opening bout of HBO’s Boxing After Dark telecast, but he passed it with flying colors. Though many of the rounds in the 12-round WBA junior welterweight championship were extremely close, Vargas used his superior jabs and quicker hand speed to keep Russian Anton Novikov at bay most of the fight and missing the overwhelming majority of his punches.
Vargas slipped in and out throughout the duel and peppered his foe with pesky hooks to the body and the occasional uppercut on the inside. But the real story was the annoying jab, a punch that Novikov couldn’t seem to avoid. Since neither man possesses raw knockout power, there was never a hint of a knockdown or stoppage. Though they threw hundreds of punches, Vargas was sharper and won the closer rounds.
In the end, the three ringside judges favored him via tallies of 118-111 (twice) and 117-111, allowing him to retain his title and improve to 25-0 with 9 KOs. Sherdog.com also had it 117-111 for Vargas, who looks ahead to bigger fights. Novikov fell for the first time as a pro; he now stands at 29-1-0-1 with 10 KOs.
Mosley Jr. Stays Perfect
Las Vegan Shane Mosley, Jr., the son of the future Hall of Famer baring the same name, torched opponent Jerome Jones, ending his night in just 85 seconds. After a tentative minute, Mosley (2-0, 2 KOs) unleashed the family trademark -- the right hand. Once it landed, Jones (1-1-1, 1 KO) was flat on his back. Jones, from Spokane, was able to fight back up to his feet but he was very unsteady. Referee Jay Nady allowed him to continue, but Mosley laid into him until the veteran third man stopped the super welterweight mugging.
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