The best news in boxing last Saturday turned out not to be any fight that occurred. Instead, the announcement of a Nov. 8 bout with Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev gave fans something to look forward to after the ugly and unsatisfying end to Brandon Rios vs. Diego Chaves bout.
The entire bout was filled with fouls from the early rounds and Chaves (23-2-1, 19KO) lost a point for excessive holding. The referee, Vic Drakulich, evened the point loss by taking a point away from Rios (32-2-1, 23KO) for tackling Chaves to the canvas. Frustrated from losing control of the fight, Drakulich threatened to disqualify both fighters if the fouls continued.
Chaves lost another point in round 8 for pushing his gloves into Rios’ face. The peak of the fouls happened by round 9 when both fighters ended up on the canvas following a takedown. The fight ended moments later when during a clinch, Rios complained of being thumbed and Drakulich disqualified Chaves. Looking at the replay, it does appear Chaves put his glove in Rios’ face but plenty of fouls occurred beforehand and although both men acted unprofessionally, Drakulich could have taken better control of the fight. It’s his job after all.
Both sides complained about Drakulich’s referring saying he was unclear about the specific reasons he took away points from them. Although there is truth to that statement, I also blame Rios and Chaves for turning a boxing match into a hockey brawl and acting unprofessionally in general.
Chaves lead on two scorecards by the end of round 8, 75-74 and Rios lead the third scorecard, 75-74.
Oh yeah, and Kovalev (25-0-1, 23KO) knocked out some guy named Blake Caparello (19-1-1, 6KO) in the second round. But wasn’t that obvious?