In one of the worst fights you'll ever see on a major pay-per-view card, Mickey Bey (21-1-1) won the IBF lightweight championship by controversial split decision over longtime champion Miguel "The Puppet" Vazquez (35-3).
The fight was not exactly action-packed, but to make things a bit more hurtful for fans, the decision was at the very least questionable. Bey was the official victor, but fans who were forced to watch the bout were the real winners when the bell rang to end the final round.
Those in attendance could only hope that the Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Rene Maidana bout would make up for this spiritless display and weird decision.
Here are the official scorecards:
Twitter was not enthused by the action and seemingly less pleased with the decision:
Those who are familiar with Vazquez's style weren't shocked to see a less than aesthetically pleasing fight. Usually, he wins ugly affairs, but this time, the judges didn't approve of his work.
By employing a steady diet of odd punching angles, tireless circling and a plethora of clinching, Vazquez appeared to dictate the tempo and identity of the fight.
From the outset, Vazquez was controlling the small bits of action. He used great lateral movement to control distance. In the second round, Bey was still not getting off first. He wasn't busy enough, and the champion was getting more comfortable.
Sensing that he needed to change things up, Bey seemingly made some adjustments in the third round. More activity as well as the use of some feints and hard jabs were his weapons of choice.
By the fourth round, those punches caused a bloody nose for the champion. The alterations in Bey's approach helped to get him into the bout emotionally.
Vazquez's tendency to dart in and out was frustrating Bey, but the challenger was clearly trying to time the champion's overtures with a check left hook. He wasn't finding much success.
The champion's awkwardness was confusing, and he seemed unable to find answers through most of the first half of the fight.
From rounds seven through 11, the action didn't break the script established by the first six. A pattern of two punches and then a clinch painfully continued until the final round. Vazquez was content to periodically land glancing blows and shoulder blocks to the midsection.
Bey did nothing to change the identity of the fight after the one segment early in the bout, until the final frame. BoxingScene.com described the action:
The 12th round was his best. Bey landed a hard left hook, but it didn't appear to hurt Vazquez. Then again, that could be said by every punch landed in the bout. It's perplexing to consider how anyone could find a 10-point edge for either fighter in this fight.
Were it not for the odd decision, this would be regarded as a poor showing on Bey's part, granted it was against a fighter who is very tough to look good against. With the decision going his way, Bey is now in the catbird seat.
He's a champion now, but he may have to give Vazquez a rematch, though most would gag at the thought. Perhaps he could consider taking on a more dynamic opponent such as WBO champion Terence Crawford.
That would almost assuredly be a better show.
Vazquez is the biggest loser in the scenario. The championship was gold for the 27-year-old who had defended his crown eight times. It validated him, despite the fact that he's not a fighter people like to see.
Without the title, it will be even harder for him to find opponents and paydays.
Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter. I dig boxing and MMA.