Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank
Brandon Rios (32-2-1, 23 KOs) scored an ugly disqualification win over Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs) at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The scheduled 10-round Welterweight bout was the main event of a triple-header presented by HBO Boxing and Top Rank Promotions.
After a tough 2013 in which he lost to Mike Alvarado and Manny Pacquiao, Rios sought to prove that he is a formidable force in the Welterweight division.
His performance before the disqualification, however, showed otherwise, as Rios admitted to HBO’s Jim Lampley when asked in his post-fight interview.
When asked if he was back, Rios stated, “Not yet. Uh, this wasn’t a great performance. I think I can do better, but we’ll see.”
The 28-year-old Mexican American pressure fighter did make the fight close, landing powerful uppercuts and hooks on the inside in an ugly fight in which referee Vic Drakulich would make several appearances.
In each of rounds three and eight, Chaves was deducted a point for pushing Rios’ face with his glove, while in round five Rios was deducted a point after seemingly tackling Chaves in the corner.
The threat of disqualification loomed from round six and beyond, as Chaves’ one-two and constant footwork were frustrating Rios, who was clinched by Chaves nearly every time he’d close in the distance.
It was clear that Rios needed to close the distance to land his signature uppercuts and powerful left hooks, but Chaves’ clinching and movement were not allowing him to work.
It was during the clinches, Rios argued, that Chaves thumbed Rios in the eye.
“He’d get me in a headlock and he goes like that with his thumb,” said Rios as he pointed to his eye with an arched thumb.
Both trainer Robert Garcia and Rios complained to Lampley after the fight about dirty tactics, but dirty tactics were also used in Marcos Maidana’s fight with Floyd Mayweather.
“This is not the way I wanted to win. I wanted to come back and show everybody that I’m still here,” said Rios.
“If you want to fight, then let’s fight. But don’t fight dirty,” continued Rios.
Chaves, on the other hand, was dumbfounded by the disqualification.
The 28-year-old Argentine power puncher, whose only previous loss was against Keith Thurman in July of 2013, used his less-than-superb boxing skills to frustrate Chaves, but did not feel he’d merited a disqualification or that he had made the fight dirty.
“He was in a headlock and my hands were just there. It was a dirty fight, he made it dirty,” said Chaves.
“I want to fight Brandon Rios again but they must change the referee because, to tell the truth, it’s a shame the way they disqualified me because Brandon Rios did what he wanted to do,” said Chaves.
At the time of the disqualification, judges Robert Hoyle 75-74 and Jerry Roth 75-74 had the bout scored for Chaves, while Patricia Morse Jarman had the bout scored for 74-75 for Rios.