MONTREAL, Canada (April 5, 2009) – Fists were flying in Montreal as Timothy Bradley and Kendall Holt exchanged fierce blows for 12 electrifying rounds to unify the 140-pound World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) titles on Saturday evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. In the end, Bradley won a close unanimous decision with two judges scoring the bout 115-111 and the third 114-112.
In the co-feature, an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight title eliminator, Librado Andrade continually beat Vitali Tsypko to the punch. Andrade earned a clear unanimous decision with two judges scoring the bout 117-109 and the third scoring a shutout, 120-106.
The evening of fights, presented by Gary Shaw Productions, Top Rank, Inc., Thompson Boxing and Gillett Entertainment Group, Inc., emanated from The Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. The co-feature was presented in association with Sauerland Events and Golden Boy Promotions. It aired live on SHOWTIME® at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Bradley of Palm Springs, Calif., was knocked down with a vicious left hook in the first round but jumped right back up. Bradley took a knee in order to compose himself and rose again at the count of “8” to continue on.
Bradley fought back furiously as the fight progressed. He became the more physical fighter, pushing the action and causing Holt’s corner to yell for him to move forward and take control of the fight.
In the 12th round with less then 20 seconds to go, Holt sent Bradley to the canvas for a second time, but Bradley seemed unfazed and both finished the fight strong.
When ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. announced him as the new 140-pound WBC and WBO champion, Bradley became overwhelmed with emotion and fell to his knees.
After the fight, the undefeated Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) said, “I kept my faith and gave tonight everything I got. This is a dream come true for me. I knew one day this would happen and I give it all to God. I came in tonight in tremendous shape. I prepared myself well.”
Referring to the two knockdowns, Bradley credited Holt saying, “Kendall is sneaky. He is a crafty fighter and I got caught. He hits hard and I know everybody will be chasing me thinking I have a glass chin but they don’t know how hard he hits.”
An upset Holt (25-3, 12 KOs) said after the fight, “I’m disappointed in myself. I let my fans down and I let my corner down. I gave away the middle rounds with a lack of work.”
When asked what was next for him Holt responded with only one thing in mind. “Rematch. It was a close fight and I want the rematch.”
While Tsypko (22-3, 12 KOs) of the Ukraine started off strong, Andrade (28-2, 21 KOs) proved to be the quicker and more composed fighter. Andrade landed a straight right hand to Tsypko’s jaw that dropped him in the second. Tsypko was able to beat the count but found himself down again in the seventh after being hit with a solid right uppercut.
In a scintillating 12th and final round, Andrade of Fontana, Calif., and Tsypko kept a quick pace trading blows back and forth. When the final bell rang Andrade was announced the winner, moving him into the number one spot and top contender for the IBF super middleweight title which is currently held by Canadian superstar Lucian Bute.
“He was very economical with his punches,” said Andrade. “I had to be careful when I hurt him. If I got too aggressive, he could get the edge and I would be in trouble. I felt that I had him in the fifth round but he is such a good boxer that he slipped away. “
Speaking of a potential rematch with Bute, Andrade said, “If it happens, I would be more then happy. This is a beautiful city and a beautiful country. The people here support boxing, they support the fighters and Bute is lucky to be from here.”
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein called the action from ringside with Karyn Bryant reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr., with Ray Smaltz producing with Bob Dunphy directing.