Timothy Bradley defeated Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision this past Saturday at the StubHub Center in California, but despite the dominant performance from the 31-year-old there was late drama in the 12th round that has since overshadowed the American's overall performance.
Controversy Overshadows Bradley's Win
The former WBO welterweight champion made it look relatively easy throughout his fight with the previously undefeated Vargas, but in the last round, with 30 seconds left, the 26-year-old wobbled Bradley and then applied further pressure in an attempt to get the knock-out.
Referee Pat Russell then seemingly heard a bell noise from the audience and, naturally assuming the sound was the ring bell signalling the end of the round, jumped in between both fighters when in actuality there was 10 seconds remaining of the contest.
The young Vargas then wheeled off in celebration, thinking the referee had stopped the fight in his favour for a stoppage win, with Bradley still dazed and receiving an onslaught from the former light welterweight champion.
The confusion was then resolved with the issue of the unofficial bell sound coming to light. 10 seconds remained but the contest ended early and a confused Bradley claimed the points win, with an enraged Vargas naturally felt robbed.
Team Vargas called for a rematch at the post-fight press conference, also calling for the fight to be overruled as a no contest instead of a win for Bradley. It looks unlikely that a rematch will take place, with Bradley now looking to fight for world honours.
Promotional Wars May Leave Bradley With Slim Pickings
The victory awarded 'Dessert Storm' with the WBO interim world title, putting him as the number one ranked contender to WBO champion Floyd Mayweather.
The world of boxing is renowned for its battle of televisual rights and promotional issues and with Bradley under Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Mayweather under Al Haymon it's almost impossible that a fight between the two will get made.
The American welterweights are looking to take the throne when Mayweather retires and with Shawn Porter getting his win over Adrien Broner last Saturday and the undefeated Keith Thurman fighting next month, an intriguing battle would excite fans if Bradley was to face one of his fellow countryman.
The mouthwatering possibility of an all American clash would again be unlikely though, as both Thurman and Porter are also with boxing powerhouse Haymon.
Ball in Mayweather's court
If the pound for pound number one Mayweather chooses to relinquish his titles then it will be easier for Bradley to get a shot at world honours. Eddie Hearn, who promotes IBF 147Ib champion Kell Brook, has always spoken highly of Timothy Bradley and has suggested a fight between the two if the WBO belt is to become vacant.
Argentine banger Marcos Maidana would also be a great fight but with 'El Chino' not ranked in the top 10 of the WBO and being inactive since September 2014 there would be no real benefit for either fighter if they were to meet.
Long time rival Amir Khan would be another eye-catching affair, with both boxers extremely fast and capable of putting together good combinations. The Englishman is himself chasing a dream fight with Mayweather, but if that bout fails to get made it's very possible that he and Bradley could meet in the ring, with both fighters expressing their desire to fight one another in the past.
147Ib King Waiting To Reclaim Throne
After his win this weekend the Californian is ready to test himself against fellow elite welterweights. His overall boxing skill set may outweigh his punching power, but his heart is arguably bigger than any other in the division.
Bradley is now ready to reclaim his status as a world champion. Let's just hope that boxing promoters can all get along with one another so that the 31-year-old is handed the opportunity to showcase his incredible talent and remind the world that the 147Ib division has a king in waiting.
Fight fans, do you think Bradley is good enough to take over Mayweather's throne? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.