Rey Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs) retained his 122lb WBC title tonight, outpointing a game Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20 KOs) over the distance to keep his belt. The three official judges turned in identical scorecards of 117-110, all in favor of Vargas. BLH also scored the fight 117-110 for Vargas.
Vargas, who held an amateur win over Kameda — one that Kameda badly wanted to avenge — was simply able to use his height and reach advantages to keep the fight at arms reach, where Kameda just couldn’t land punches on him.
That’s not to say Kameda didn’t try, though. Kameda in fact attempted to close the distance and wing some looping right hands but just couldn’t find much success against Vargas, who enjoyed playing the matador. Kameda was able to land some telling shots intermittently, but just not nearly at the rate to offset Vargas activity level at range.
By the 12th round Kameda was trying to get physical with Vargas any way he could, knowing he was down on points, but then was deducted a point himself in the final frame by punching on the break. I suppose it was at least worth a try, though, because Kameda really couldn’t land much else otherwise.
Final CompuBox stats had Vargas landing a total of 173 of 793 total punches (21.8%) with Kameda landing 133 of 394 total punches (33.8%).
The undercard of this fight had some notable upsets, however, with at least two highly regarded prospects getting knocked off by way of knockout.
Junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (21-1, 10 KOs) took his first L tonight, getting stopped by Ronny RIos (31-3, 15 KOs) at 1:17 of round six. This fight actually turned out to be the best of the bunch from an action perspective, with two well matched opponents going toe-to-toe for most of the fight.
Both De La Hoya and Rios would take turns strafing each other with shots, but with Rios really timing his left hook well which shook up De La Hoya a few times. Then in the sixth round, Rios would catch De La Hoya with an uppercut to the chin that put De La Hoya down. De La Hoya would get to his feet but didn’t want to continue, so the fight was waved off right then.
In the post-fight interview De La Hoya readily admitted that he told the referee that he wasn’t feeling well after the knockdown, saying that you have to take these losses just like you take the wins. For Rios though, this was a huge win considering that he was nearly retired not too long ago.
Also on the card were featherweights Joet Gonzalez and Manuel Avila battling it out. Avila tried to start quickly but pretty quickly collapsed under the constant pressure Gonzalez was applying. By the sixth round Avila was taking a beating with his right eye swollen, and continued to take even more clean shots before his corner finally threw in the towel. Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs) now expects to be competing for a world title before the year is out, saying he’s down to fight either Shakur Stevenson or Joseph Diaz Jr. — both of whom he regards as social media loudmouths. Avila (23-2-1, 8 KOs), meanwhile, goes back to the drawing board.
In the main card’s opening fight another prospect in Rocky Hernandez (28-1, 25 KOs) got upset by getting knocked out by Roger Gutierrez (22-3-1, 19 KOs) in the opening round of the contest. Hernandez started out the round really well, looking like he was establishing himself in the fight, but then abruptly ate a monster right hand from Gutierrez that put him down immediately. Hernandez would barely be able to make it back to his feet, and would fall right back down to the canvas with his legs still wobbly. At that point the referee really had no real choice but to stop the fight. Hernandez didn’t seem too happy with that decision, but he was clearly compromised.