In the second bout of the Showtime, Mayweather vs. Maidana II pay-per-view broadcast, a lightweight championship bout took place featuring champion, Miguel Vazquez (34-4, 13 knockouts) versus Mayweather stable-mate, Mickey Bey Jr. (21-1-1, 10 knockouts). With Vazquez’ seven successful title defenses , few gave Bey little more than a punchers chance to overcome a fighter like Vazquez. After all, Vazquez is a fighter who fights with a style which is as efficient as it is boring to watch. Still, Bey managed to overcome that test, but unfortunately a questionable scorecard will be the only thing people will remember about this otherwise forgettable fight.
From the earliest moments of the fight it was clear that neither fighter was going to stray from their counter-punch focused styles of fighting. Only issue is that Vazquez is much more experienced as well as much quicker with his punches than Bey. This led to some frustrating exchanges for Bey as he would do his best to sit back or come forward and would either find himself hitting air or being hit for his troubles.
As rounds progressed it was clear that Bey wasn’t exactly comfortable in the ring with Vazquez, and the champion used Bey’s reluctance to weave in and out of his defense and land some significant shots of his own. Things didn’t get much better (or more exciting) for Bey in this first half of the fight, and at this point seemed doomed to face a certain unanimous decision loss to Vazquez like so many others.
By the second half of the fight it was clear that Vazquez had become rather tired, and also that Bey was desperate to keep the fight from slipping away. Although he didn’t exactly manage to stay busy, Bey did begin landing some power shots that caught the judges’ eyes and won him a round or two. Even more significant was the fact that Vazquez often had little to respond with aside from the occasional punch and expected clinch.
With the fight finally reaching its end, both fighters were set on walking away the champion. Bey continued landing his occasional power shot while Vazquez now resorted to a gameplan of landing a pair of punches before clinching or bobbing out of range. It wasn’t the typically dominant Vazquez performance that we have come accustomed to seeing, but many saw him walking away with the unanimous points victory. Instead, the decision was split, and Las Vegas native, Bey was awarded the decision.
Mickey Bey was awarded the split decision victory on scores of (115-113), (113-115), and the inexplicable (199-109). It was the final scorecard that immediately drew a negative response from an already jeering crowd at the MGM, but Bey still managed to leave the building as the new IBF Lightweight Champion of the world. At this point there’s no telling where each fighter goes from here, but all signs point to these two fighters crossing paths once more, for better or for worse.