In a rough, dirty and bizarre bout, Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios defeated Diego Chaves by disqualification on Saturday at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Though the fight featured some excellent action, there were a number of warnings, as well as a ton of holding and three point deductions before Chaves was disqualified in the ninth round by referee Vic Drakulich for excessive fouls.
Per this image tweeted by UCN Live's Steve Kim, Chaves was up a point on two of the three judges' scorecards at the time of the disqualification.
After the fight was over, Twitter reacted to the result.
A clearly frustrated and angry Rios had to be restrained at the end of the fight. He claimed that Chaves was intentionally raking his eyes during the clinch.
Once Rios had cooled a bit, you could still hear the frustration in his post-fight quotes.
Through an interpreter, Chaves expressed that he felt the referee was unjust in disqualifying him and that it was Rios who had initiated the questionable tactics.
Drawing a Line in the Sand
The two men wasted no time getting the party started. Chaves showed Rios that he wouldn't have to chase him. Predictably, Chaves had the faster hands and better jabs. Even though portions of the fight were taking place in close quarters—which is where Rios prefers the action—Chaves was beating him to the punch.
In the third round, referee Drakulich took a point from Chaves for holding. It was a strange deduction because Chaves hadn't really been warned prior to being penalized.
Exposing Bam Bam's Weaknesses
In the middle rounds, Chaves created distance and did the best work of the segment. He began to effectively sidestep Rios' bull charges. In between the lateral movement, he peppered Rios' face with one-two combinations.
In the fifth round, Drakulich evened things up in the erroneous point-deduction department. He penalized Rios for something that was unclear. That point could have been big had the fight gone the distance.
It was the difference in the fight when the fight was called.
In the remaining rounds, the action got increasingly ugly. The fighters were jawing at each other and getting tangled more regularly. At one point, both men spilled to the ground as Chaves refused to let go of a front facelock.
In the ninth round, Chaves was disqualified for what was described as repeated fouls. At the time of the disqualification, I had the fight scored 75-74 in favor of Chaves.
Though he was holding excessively, the tone of the fight was grimy. It felt as if the point deductions and the disqualification might have been an overreaction. Even still, Chaves only has himself to blame because the holding wasn't really necessary.
He could have won this fight with a cleaner approach.
What's Next for Rios
Bam Bam's M.O. remains the same. He's a one-dimensional brawler. If fighters move and box him, they will give him trouble.
When Chaves used lateral movement, he evaded Rios and hit him almost at will. It's become clear, the type of opponent that Rios can look good against is a select group. He desperately needed a win after two straight losses, but this wasn't the ideal manner for the victory to come.
If he doesn't fight Chaves again in his next fight, he needs to find the Arturo Gatti to his Micky Ward to remain an attraction.
What's Next for Chaves
A really good performance was spoiled by a disqualification. Chaves showed he had more boxing skills than most expected, but he hurt himself with the holding.
Had he pulled back on that tactic a bit, he might have won the biggest fight of his career. As for his future, he likely created enough buzz to get another bout in the United States.
Per the HBO broadcast, he stated that he'd like to fight Rios again. That fight would make the most sense for both fighters at this point.
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