The last time Diego Chaves fought at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, it was an ugly bout that ended in his disqualification. On Saturday, Chaves returns to The Cosmopolitan and his opponent says he is ready for anything Chaves will do.
A Dirty Fighter?
As former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley returns to the ring to rebound from his loss to Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao during their April rematch, he is well aware of what his opponent is capable of doing inside the ring. According to Bradley, he has reviewed the tapes of Diego Chaves’ bout against Brandon Rios and he concluded that Chaves is indeed a dirty fighter.
Bradley may be half correct. During the Rios fight, Chaves was disqualified by referee Vic Drakulich in the 9th of a scheduled ten rounder for excessive fouls. Although Rios threw his own bag of dirty tricks on Chaves, the bout took its shape because Chaves resorted to holding, elbowing, wrestling and head butting. It was a sorry loss for Chaves because he was ahead 75-74 on two of the scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
The other half of Diego Chaves is that he isn’t just a “dirty fighter.” Although he’s mostly fought in his native Argentina, the then unbeaten Chaves made five successful title defenses of the WBO Latino Welterweight title before capturing the interim WBA Welterweight champion. Unfortunately, Chaves finally got his first career loss when American prospect Keith Thurman beat him for the WBA title in July of last year. After recapturing the WBO Latino title after the Thurman debacle, Chaves then went to Las Vegas for that unfortunate fight with Rios. With redemption in mind, he is looking to prove that he is a worthy 147-pound contender against Bradley on Saturday night.
Bradley is the heavy favorite in this one because he is too skilled a boxer for a rugged brawler like Diego Chaves. In most probability, Chaves will try to blitzkrieg Bradley right from the opening bell in the hopes of replicating the first couple of rounds of the Bradley-Provdnikov fight where Bradley got into early trouble by brawling with the heavy hitting Provodnikov. But Bradley has learned his lesson and he also deals well with adversity so if he can overcome the early onslaught from Chaves, he should have a smooth sailing victory.
But the biggest factor should be how veteran referee Tony Weeks controls the bout, and Chaves in general. If Chaves gets his roughhousing going, we may see a repeat of the Rios-Chaves bout. But if Weeks takes control of the bout and Bradley is ready as he says he is, he should have all the real estate to launch his attack and beat Chaves decisively.
Bradley opened the betting as a -800 favorite and Chaves the massive +500 underdog. Those lines aren’t expected to change as the fight draws closer. 25 out of 26 fight experts interviewed by Ring.com had Bradley winning this contest, and most say he will do so by decision.