- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Jessie Vargas has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission over the controversial ending of his unanimous decision loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. in their June 27 welterweight title bout at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, commission executive officer Andy Foster told ESPN.com on Tuesday night.
Vargas is seeking to have his loss changed to a no contest based on the fact that referee Pat Russell mistakenly called the fight over with about seven seconds remaining in the 12th and final round because he mistook the 10-second clapper for the final bell.
Vargas was upset because the fight was stopped just as he had Bradley in terrible shape after rocking him and nearly dropping him with a right hand. Vargas felt robbed of a chance to finish Bradley off because the fight was stopped prematurely.
At the postfight news conference, Vargas vowed to fight to overturn the result.
"Normally it's 36 minutes for a fight, right? It was a little under that right when he was hurt, right when he was out on his feet, and all I needed was one last punch," Vargas said. "The referee stepped in, looked at Bradley, waved the fight and I said, 'I'm a new world champion, interim champion, whatever it was.' And, unfortunately, they came back to me and said, 'Oh, no, I made a mistake. The fight's over.'
"I don't understand how that can be. I'm gonna fight as much as I can to get this decision overruled, to get the decision to be a no contest. I think I deserve to finish what I started."
Foster said the commission has not decided whether it will hear Vargas' appeal.
"I am reviewing his supporting documentation," Foster said.
If the commission decides to hear the appeal, it would not be until the next commission meeting, which won't be until near late August or early September.
Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) and Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs), a junior welterweight titlist who moved up in weight for the fight, were fighting for a 147-pound interim world title. But with Floyd Mayweather being stripped of the WBO belt on Monday, Bradley will be elevated to full titleholder.