By Lem Satterfield, RINGTV.COM
NEW YORK — RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward and WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley were sitting ringside at Radio City Music Hall for WBA junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux’s unanimous-decision victory that dethroned RING, IBF and WBO champion Nonito Donaire.
Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) rose from a 10th-round knockdown to defeat Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs) by scores of 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111 on the cards of judges John Stewart, Tom Schreck and Julie Lederman, respectively. RingTV.com had it for Rigondeaux 117-110.
But the sold-out crowd was not necessarily appreciative of Rigondeaux’s work, as evidenced by its boos during various portions of the fight.
Rigondeaux-Donaire followed wars between Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov, and Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios.
But those who may have been expecting similar blood-and-guts action on Saturday were bound to be disappointed, according to Bradley and Ward.
Bradley called the fight’s international feed for promoter Top Rank, and Ward has served as an HBO ringside commentator. Each of them addressed the Rigondeaux-Donaire fight with their comments below.
Tim Bradley’s general assessment of the fight:
“With Rigondeaux, it was footwork. Footwork. Footwork. Footwork. Footwork and the ability to get in and move in and out. When he wanted to, Rigondeaux would just close the distance. Every time Donaire would come in, Rigondeaux would just give him a little shoulder-bump and step right back out. And Donaire would go back.
“There was never a point where they were actually face to face and in the trenches. There was never a point where they were like that. Rigondeaux never allowed him to do that.
By Leighton Ginn, MYDESERT.COM
‘The Fighter’ Micky Ward saw ‘different side’ of Timothy Bradley Jr.
Despite being rocked in the first two rounds, Bradley rallied in the middle rounds and survived a knockdown in the final round to beat the tough and rugged Provodnikov to retain his WBO welterweight title. It was the most punishment Bradley endured in his career, and afterward he claimed he suffered a concussion during the first two rounds. Bradley’s performance helped win over fans. Bradley’s camp said he gained 5,000 Twitter followers the next day.
“It’s good to see a different side of him,” Ward said in a telephone interview. “People should have respected him, but he showed a different side after he fought in the trenches. I think people respect him even more now.
“Maybe Timmy Bradley didn’t realize he was going to fight like that until he got in there. He got comfortable and said, ‘The hell with it.’ Maybe he planned on boxing, but once he got in there, he knew (Provodnikov) was strong, but he wanted to show the world he’s just as strong as him and he can fight that way and he showed them. You have to congratulate him and I give him credit.”
By Andrew L. John, MYDESERT.COM
Some were already calling it the fight of the year. Now that the television ratings are in, perhaps there’s even more validity to that claim.
Timothy Bradley Jr.’s live 12-round slugfest with Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov drew 1.4 million HBO viewers at its peak Saturday, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Bradley, the world welterweight champion from Cathedral City, endured a dangerously difficult first two rounds and a flurry of punches to hold on to win by unanimous decision.
Likely spurred by the immense post-fight social media stir, another 274,000 viewers caught the HBO encore replay Sunday morning.
In terms of ratings, the fight ranks as one of the top four televised boxing events of the year. The ratings matched the much-anticipated Bernard Hopkins-Tavoris Cloud fight for the IBF light heavyweight title a week earlier in Brooklyn, N.Y.
But not nearly as many watched the encore replay of the Hopkins-Tavoris fight. In fact, 57 percent more caught the replay of the Bradley fight.