LAS VEGAS – Brandon Rios told the boxing world before his fight against Diego Chaves that the old version of himself would return.
While there were some flashes of “Bam Bam” in the ring on Saturday night, it was difficult to see whether a return to his old self was there. Instead, much of the attention was on the referee Vic Drakulich.
Unfortunately, it was the wrong type of attention.
Rios won by disqualification in the ninth round when Drakulich had enough of the roughhouse tactics of Chaves before a stunned crowd at the Chelsea Theatre inside The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, N.V.
The win did snap a two-bout losing streak for Rios, but he would rather have earned the win with his fists and not through Drakulich’s actions.
“He had me in a headlock and was poking (thumbing) my eye,” Rios told the media after the fight. “He kept holding me. I’m not a dirty fighter.”
Chaves did not believe he had done anything wrong.
“I didn’t know why I got disqualified,” Chaves said after the fight. “He was head-butting me. I thought I was winning the fight.”
Entering the ninth round, Chaves was ahead on two judges’ scorecards, 75-74 and 75-74. Rios was up on the third judge’s scorecard, 75-74.
Rios improves his record to 32-2-1, with 22 KOs, while Chaves drops to 23-2, with 19 KOs.
Chaves had a difficult time entering the country from Argentina earlier this week because of a backlog of visa applications through United States immigration. A replacement fighter was found in unbeaten Jose Zepeda, but Chaves got the all-clear on Wednesday, reportedly through assistance from Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.