HBO PPV Televised Undercard Results: Beltran, Vargas, and Vasquez Win Decision Victories
By: William Holmes
Several stoppages in the untelevised portion of the undercard led to a fifty five minute break in between the untelevised portion of the card and the start of the televised portion of the pay per view.
The crowd was starting to fill in by the start of the first televised bout between Jose Felix (26-0-1) and Bryan Vasquez (33-1) for the WBA Interim Super Featherweight Title. Michael Buffer assumed announcing duties for the televised portion of the pay per view.
Vasquez took the middle of the ring in the first round, but missed often with wild hooks. He switched from orthodox, to southpaw, back to orthodox during the round, but was touched by Felix with a crisp jab often. Vasquez continued to get countered by Felix in the first, including a solid left hook when Felix had his back against the corner.
Vasquez had a better second round. He kept the bout in tight and had Felix trapped by the ropes several times. He did damage to the body of Felix, but still took several counter punches. Vasquez switched stances several times in the third round, from orthodox to southpaw and back to orthodox again, and got the better of Felix when they exchanged. Felix did however land a hard left hook at the end of the round.
Felix used his feet and jab more in the fourth round, while Vasquez was missing with wild shots. Felix was also warned for a low blow in the fourth. Vasquez continued to stalk Felix in the fifth round but he was not very effective. Felix was warned for a low blow again in the fifth round.
Vasquez continued to chase Felix in the sixth round and even threw Felix to the ground during his pursuit. He landed several hard body shots in the sixth and his body work was showing its effectiveness in the seventh round. Vasquez did very well in trapping Felix by the ropes in the seventh, and at the end of the round Felix had a welt on his forehead.
It appeared to be anybody’s fight by the start of the eighth round, but the fight started to swing towards Vasquez’s way in the ninth. The referee took away a point from Felix for a low blow in the ninth and Vasquez closed the round out strong.
In the final three rounds Vasquez continued to apply the pressure and beat Felix up on the inside. Felix appeared to be mentally defeated in the last round and took several hard shots from Vasquez as the fight came to a close.
The judges scored it 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for Bryan Vasquez.
The next bout of the night was between Jessie Vargas (23-0) and Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0) for the WBA Super Lightweight Title.
Neither boxer had a high knockout ratio and this fight was expected by many to go the full twelve rounds. However, not many expected the fight to be as listless as it was.
Allakhverdiev was a southpaw and Vargas fought out of an orthodox stance. They turned this bout into a jab fest, with Vargas seemingly landing the majority of the punches.
Vargas landed a good rising jab in the second, and was able to slip most of Allakhverdiev’s punches in the third. Allakhverdiev connect with a solid straight left hand that snapped the head of Vargas backwards in the fourth, but Vargas was able to answer with a combination to the body.
Vargas closed off the fifth round with a good two punch combination. Allakhverdiev controlled the pace in the sixth and had Vargas briefly trapped in the corner, but Vargas resorted back to his jab in the seventh and took back control of the fight.
Every round was close, and by the ninth round Allakhverdiev had a bad cut near his right eye that was caused by a head butt. Neither boxer pressed the action or impressed, but it was Vargas that landed the cleaner shots.
Jessie Vargas remains undefeated with a decision victory over Khabib Allakhverdiev with scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111.
The final bout of the undercard was between Arash Usmanee (20-1-1) and Ray Beltran (28-6-1) for the vacant NABO Lightweight Title.
Usmanee stayed on the outside in the first round and avoided the much larger looking Beltran. Beltran applied the pressure in the first round and ended the round with a strong left hook. In the second Usmanee briefly had Beltrantrapped near the ropes, but he missed with wild hooks. Beltran, as customary with his style, marched forward and applied the pressure on Usmanee. Beltran landed a stinging left hook off the temple of Usmanee near the end of the round.
Usmanee was still trying to find his range in the third round and was missing with most of his punches. Beltran banged a few more hooks to the body of Usmanee and connected with a double left hook. Usmanee also landed a clean right cross in the third, but Beltran’s pressure likely won him the round.
Beltran continued his body attack in the fourth and fifth round and was landing the harder shots. Usmanee was willing and did exchange with Beltran, but Beltran was landing hard harder punches.
Beltran continued to stalk in the sixth and seventh rounds and was the aggressor. Usmanee had his moments during these rounds, including a good jab to the body right cross upstairs combination, but Beltran continued to land hard short hooks.
By the eighth round Usmanee looked real tentative to get in tight with Beltran, and spent most of the round backing away from his ever coming forward opponent. Beltran hurt Usmanee near the end of the eighth which forced him to tie up and hold on.
Usmanee continued to get pounded on by Beltran in the ninth and tenth rounds, and was stunned with a hard right hook by Beltran in the tenth.
It appeared to most that Usmanee needed a knockout in the final two rounds to pull off the victory, but Beltran did not let up with his pressure and continued to dictate the pace of the fight until the very end.
The final scores were 118-110, 117-11, and 117-111 for Ray Beltran.