In a fierce battle of wills between two determined, unbeaten fighters, Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs) retained his WBO junior welterweight title with an impressive, one-sided 12-round decision over Lamont Peterson (27-1, 13 KOs) in the main event of a world championship doubleheader Saturday on SHOWTIME®. In the co-feature, WBC)/WBA 115-pound champion Vic Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, regained his winning ways with a devastating second-round knockout over challenger Thomas Rojas (31-12-1, 22 KOs) of Mexico.
The event at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Top Rank, Inc.
Encouraged by an enthusiastic hometown crowd, Bradley, of nearby Palm Springs, registered a knockdown in the third en route to winning an exciting one-sided, give-and-take slugfest by the scores of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-110. Peterson, of Washington, D.C, who entered the ring as the WBO interim 140-pound titlist, fell to 27-1 with 13 KOs.
“Lamont came out and made me fight like no one ever, ever has,” Bradley said. “He is a tough, tough fighter. This is a great night for me but also a great fight for the fans.
“I think experience played a big role tonight. He had the right game plan but got a little careless and was rushing in instead of following his jab. When he came in like that is when I nailed him.
“Lamont did what he was supposed to do and tried to break me down. I felt a little gassed in the seventh round but I got my second wind in the eighth and ninth. I felt my conditioning was superior.”
Bradley, who excelled in all areas, showed again why many consider him to be the No. 1 fighter in the world at 140 pounds.
“I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight and I don’t care where I have to go,” Bradley said. “I’m very happy with my performance but Lamont proved that he is going to be a great world champion.”
Said Peterson: “My game plan was to win the first round. But in the middle of it I got hit pretty hard by right-hand punches and lost the round. I was in trouble and fell behind. I got reckless during the fight. I couldn’t make it up. He’s a great champion. I gave it all I had.”
Southpaws Darchinyan and Rojas duked it out from the outset with both landing their fair share of hard shots. Two of the three judges gave the first round to Rojas.
The second session was also highly competitive until Darchinyan connected with a devastating left hand that left Rojas on his back, down and out. The bout ended at the 2:54 mark.
“The key to this fight was patience and showing my boxing skills,” Darchinyan said. “Strength-wise, fighting at 115 pounds or 118 pounds doesn’t mean anything because the difference is minimal.
“It’s all about mental preparation and tonight I was patient and took my time and let the knockout come. He was hitting me with punches but I was hitting him back more and with more power. It was only a matter of time before he felt my power.”
A fight fans want to see is a rematch between Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire, who knocked out Darchinyan in the fifth round July 7, 2007, on SHOWTIME.
“Every night when I go to sleep or I am preparing for a fight I am dreaming of a rematch with Nonito Donaire,” Darchinyan said. “It’s all up to my promoter Gary Shaw.”
Shaw says he is trying to get the fight made.
Rojas felt he was on the way to an upset until he got caught.
“I was doing what I was supposed to do, which is to box him and keep him away, but I got careless and I never saw the punch coming,” Rojas said. “I am very disappointed because I knew that I could beat this guy.”
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein called the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and Strikeforce mixed martial arts telecasts, along with access to the SHOWTIME Sports Facebook® and Twitter® pages, please go to http://Sports.Sho.com.
Saturday’s bouts will re-air on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME 2. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING world championship doubleheader also will be available On Demand beginning Tuesday, Dec. 15.