Jamie McDonnell didn't have a world class opponent for today's WBA bantamweight title defense, but he did the job in front of him, dominating short-notice foe Fernando Vargas en route to a ninth round stoppage at the O2 Arena in London.
McDonnell (28-2-1, 13 KO) clearly outclassed Vargas (29-10-3, 20 KO) from the first round on, but Vargas, 27, did give an honest effort, trying his best against a superior fighter, and using a lot of lateral movement to try and keep the 30-year-old McDonnell off balance and out of rhythm. It didn't really work, but it was certainly an effort.
McDonnell stayed on the attack pretty consistently, looking to break Vargas down as the fight wore on. In the eighth, he appeared to hurt Vargas, and clearly had him about ready to go. Vargas took the fight on just five days' notice and his conditioning and stamina were always going to be a question.
In the ninth, McDonnell upped the attack, and his body work up to that point had begun to really pay off, as Vargas no longer had the legs to stay out of McDonnell's way. The Mexican fighter went down from two good right hands to the head, and Vargas' corner waved off the fight at that point, acknowledging their man was beaten.