Round By Round: Bradley vs. Cherry

They may not have expected to be the main event tonight on Showtime, but 25 year-old WBC light welterweight champion Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley and veteran Edner Cherry find themselves in the spotlight thanks to the cancellation of the Nate Campbell-Joan Guzman bout. It's a big opportunity for Cherry, who apparently still delivers furniture to help pay the bills.

Bradley went to England to face Junior Witter on his home turf and knocked him down en route to pulling off a big upset win. The Showtime announce team says he'll have to guard against complacency now that he's the champ.

The introductions are made and we're ready to get down to business.

Round 1

Cherry off quick with the jab. Bradley ducks his way in and works to the body. Wild swing by Cherry that was a partial connection. Bradley looks faster in early exchanges and they tie up several times. Left hook by Cherry starts off a wild exchange. Jabs flying both ways. Nice left hook upstairs by Bradley. No lack of action right now. Bradley flicking jabs again. Good opening with both men getting some things done.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 2

Quick exchange in close and Cherry almost got caught off balance. He swings wildly and misses as they go back to jabbing. Bradley lands a pair of right hands behind jabs. Cherry lands a left hook upstairs as he comes forward. He's backed up but stands his ground and ties up. Right hand by Bradley in the center of the ring. Glancing blows land both ways as Cherry comes forward. Not much of consequence lands in the final 20 seconds.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 3

Lots of wrestling to start off this frame. Bradley whacks Cherry with a left coming in. A war of jabs breaks out again. Ugly holding in close as this referee seems content to let them do just that. Quick right upstairs by Bradley before they clash heads. Big misses by Cherry as Bradley slips away. Another right up high and some body work by the champ. Cherry trying his best to cut off the ring but not having much success thus far. Finally a combo lands from Cherry that got Bradley's attention.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 4

Replays showed the two fighters butting heads several times last round. Cherry comes out swinging with double left hooks. Both men work the body in close. Clubbing right by Bradley as Cherry scores with his left. Big left hook dazes Bradley for a second. The champ took it well but he's backpedaling now. Nice right by Bradley to counter Cherry's left. More grappling as both fighters look to set up right hands.

Franchise: 10-9 Cherry

Round 5

Cherry definitely swinging for the fences but Bradley responding with quick punches from both hands. Now it settles back into an exchange of jabs. Right to the body and both men land upstairs. Cherry hasn't faltered from coming forward. Bradley working the jab repeatedly and the announcers think Cherry has let the momentum slip away. The champ nearly has his foe lined up for a big shot before the bell but just misses.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 6

Cherry's corner implores him to go back to jabbing his way in. He's trying to comply but Bradley is quicker to the draw. Bradley misses with a big right but scores with a left, then works the body. Cherry doesn't seem to have an answer for Bradley's speed right now. He does slip in a left hook before they tie up. The ref calls a short halt for a low blow by Bradley. Lefts to the body and head crash home for Bradley; Cherry responds with a straight right.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 7

Cherry starts quickly with a good right but Bradley comes right back to the body. The champ goes back to his jab while backing away slightly. Cherry retreats as Bradley is obviously loading up the right hand. The challenger lands a right that is answered by a flurry coming back. Nice left by Bradley and he dances away. The announcers note Bradley's skill at slipping punches. Both men try to flurry at the bell but nothing serious lands.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 8

Cherry's trainer unleashes a string of profanities to try to light a fire under him. He also tells his fighter he's way down on points. Right hand scores for Cherry; Bradley still throwing a lot back. Cherry lands a big right and he tries to capitalize. Bradley stands his ground and throws body shots. Bradley connects with a big right and Cherry is down. He answers the count and has a minute left to survive. The champ tries to finish his opponent and Cherry lands a right hand. He escapes this round and shows why he's never been stopped.

Franchise: 10-8 Bradley

Round 9

Bradley strikes quickly with another right hand. He's stalking and feinting looking for another bomb. Right to the body by Bradley. Nice left by Cherry and they tie up. Bradley dodges along the ropes and Cherry almost falls through them. Cherry is really cautious and staying well back. Quick combo right as the round ends by the champ, who took it a little easier this time.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 10

Quick hands on display again by Bradley. He works the jab and still looks plenty light on his feet. Bradley just misses with a big right. Cherry is very tentative and looks content to try to avoid the KO while searching for a chance to steal it with a big shot. Jabs set up rights to the head and body by Bradley. Another huge right only partially connects for the champ at the end of the round.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Round 11

Right hand to the head by Bradley and he avoids any return fire. Cherry goes down but it's correctly ruled a push. Another swing and a miss by Cherry, who has to be frustrated. Counter right scores for Bradley followed by a sweet body combo. Cherry punches on the break and the fans boo. Right hand by Cherry staggers Bradley but he doesn't have space to take advantage. That could set up an interesting finale.

Franchise: 10-9 Cherry

Round 12

Cherry scores with a right as he tries to pull it out in the final round. Bradley wisely clinching whenever he gets a chance. Neither man can get off effectively as they wrestle inside. Short right hook by Cherry but not much was on it. Left hand by Cherry coming forward and both men look tired. Bradley slips down and there are 30 seconds to go. Very fast flurries to the body and one final shot upstairs by the champ to possibly steal an ugly final round.

Franchise: 10-9 Bradley

Franchise scores it 118-109 for Bradley. The judges score it 117-110, 118-109 and 119-109, all for the winner... and still WBC light welterweight champion... Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley.

Cherry is gracious in defeat, giving Bradley a lot of credit. He says Bradley was slick, making it hard to follow up when he landed his big shot. He also says he wasn't hurt when he got knocked down.

For his part, Bradley thanks his corner for good advice, especially for telling him to establish the jab. He watches the replay of the big right hand in the eighth round, calling it his "James Toney right hand." The champ also admits to getting careless in the eleventh round, though he says he wasn't hurt. Bradley says he may have to face Devon Alexander next but doesn't care who he faces, and that he thought he put on a great show when unexpectedly given the chance to fight in the main event.

Don King gets a second to say he doesn't think Joan Guzman should have pulled out of his fight.

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