Baltimore, Maryland - In the opening bout of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, lightweight contender Ladarius Miller narrowly edged former world champion Jezreel Corrales with a split decision scored 96-93 (Corrales), 96-93 (Miller) and 95-94 (Miller).
The 10-round lightweight bout was a difficult affair to score and was mostly fought at a distance. Corrales was the busier fighter from the outset, throwing over 100 more punches than Miller, who didn’t utilize his typically effective body attack and inside game. But while Corrales did more damage at close quarters, Miller was the more accurate fighter, particularly with his power shots that were thrown from a distance.
The defining moment in the fight occurred with just 40 seconds left. With both fighters clinched and grappling to escape, Miller tossed Corrales to the ground. In a puzzling decision, referee Brent Brovell deducted a point from Corrales, who had previously been warned for rabbit punching and low blows. The penalty was costly. Had the incident not have been ruled a penalty, Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs) would have won the round 10-9 on all three judges’ scorecards and escaped with a draw.
“I’m not happy with the decision,” Corrales said. “I don’t think it was fair to give Miller the victory. The fans here in the arena told me I won the fight. I know I won the fight.
“Miller is a good fighter and I don’t want to take away from his hard work, but I was the one coming forward, I was the one attacking. I won that fight. I respect the judges’ scorecards, but I want a rematch. I would like an immediate rematch so I can get the win I deserve.”
For Miller (20-1, 6 KOs), his 11th consecutive victory inched him closer to a world title shot in the lightweight division.
“He came out here and made it an ugly fight, but I got the job done,” Miller said. “I was just trying to go for the knockout. I think that if I would have settled down more it would have been better, but I was really trying to go for the knockout, and it made the fight a lot tougher than me.
“I’ve got to get back in the gym and continue to work on the things that can make me better. He was a veteran, a former world champion.”