After another victory, has Timothy Bradley earned the right to

  • Sure, Timothy Bradley Jr. and Jessie Vargas spoke about a possible rematch immediately after the wild ending of their interim welterweight title bout on Saturday at the StubHub Center, but don't count on it.

    The fight ended about seven seconds prematurely because referee Pat Russell mistook the 10-second clapper warning as the final bell and stepped in to say the fight was over -- though Vargas and many of the fans thought he had called a knockout because, well, the fight shouldn't have been over and Bradley had just been staggered to his boots by a flush overhand right that turned his legs to jelly.

    Punch Stats PUNCHESBRADLEYVARGAS Landed 232 203 Thrown 676 630 Percent 34 32 -- Courtesy of CompuBox

    In the end, Bradley won a well-deserved and clear, unanimous decision in what had been a rather one-sided, albeit highly entertaining, fight. Although Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) said in the ring that he was open to a rematch, he said otherwise at the postfight news conference.

    "Dude, that was one shot he landed over the top, and he thinks he can beat me clearly? Go back and look at the scorecards," Bradley said. "I beat this kid eight rounds to four, hands down. I was winning, I was mowing him down, using my jab, sticking and moving.

    "I'm not in the rematch business. He had a fair shot for 12 rounds. He hurt me with a shot, but I would have finished. It wouldn't have changed anything. [Rematch?] What for? Sour grapes. The fight was a great fight. Jessie is a phenomenal, young talent. He's hungry. He's determined. He can take a punch, man."

    Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs), naturally, was upset by Russell's honest mistake and believed it cost him the fight.

    "Normally, it's 36 minutes for a fight, right? It was a little under that right when he was hurt, right when he was out on his feet, and all I needed was one last punch," Vargas said. "The referee stepped in, looked at Bradley, waved the fight, and I said, 'I'm a new word champion, interim champion, whatever it was.' And unfortunately, they came back to me and said, 'Oh, no, I made a mistake. The fight's over.'

    "I don't understand how that can be. I'm gonna fight as much as I can to get this decision overruled, to get the decision to be a no contest. I think I deserve to finish what I started."

    "I'm not in the rematch business. He had a fair shot for 12 rounds. He hurt me with a shot, but I would have finished. It wouldn't have changed anything. [Rematch?] What for?"

    Vargas has virtually zero chance of having the California State Athletic Commission change the decision. Russell made a judgment call, like an umpire calls balls and strikes in baseball. He made a mistake, but it will stand.

    Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, agreed a change of decision was not going to happen.

    "Slim and none, and slim has already left town," he said when asked Monday about the possibility.

    "Yes, the rematch was enhanced by that last round, which demonstrated that Vargas could indeed hurt Bradley, which up until that punch you couldn't make a case for, even though Vargas fought well," Arum said. "The fact that the ref stopped the fight too early starts a little controversy, which is good, but it was clearly a mistake and would not have changed the result if the fight had gone to its conclusion.

    "I'll take my queues from Tim. If he's not willing to do [a rematch], we will go on and get him another fight."

    With a rematch unlikely, Arum said he will look to line both guys up for other fights later in the year. Like many, Arum believes Bradley makes sense as the Sept. 12 opponent for Floyd Mayweather. It's hard to argue. Bradley has a strong resume and a fierce determination that could make it a very interesting fight.

    A fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather is the next priority for Timothy Bradley Jr. 

    It's a hard fight to make, given that Mayweather is with Showtime and adviser Al Haymon, while Bradley is with Top Rank and HBO. But it's not impossible, Arum said.

     

    "If Mayweather is looking around for an opponent, the guy capable of giving him the best fight, who is available, is Bradley. Many people would agree with that," Arum said. "I've let it be known, and now it's Mayweather's decision. So now I'm waiting for a call from his people or not. I'm not waiting with baited breath by my phone, but they know where to call me.

    "If they call me, I will try to set up the fight. We showed from Mayweather-[Manny] Pacquiao fight things could be worked out."

    More likely, Bradley is headed to a mandatory defense against contender Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs), a fight Arum has talked about staging on a card in Dubai.

    "The mandatory makes sense if we can finalize everything in Dubai because a fight between Tim and Sadam Ali is a natural for Dubai because Ali is a Muslim and Dubai is (in) a Muslim country," Arum said.

    But maybe, just maybe, Mayweather will call.