Josue Vargas Banks Another Win, This Time At The Expense Of Willie Shaw
By: Hans Themistode
With Josue Vargas slowly moving from top prospect to world title contender, the slick New York, native found himself in a slugfest early on against Willie Shaw. The two battle it out in Kissimmee Florida, at Silver Sports Arena on the undercard of WBO featherweight champion, Emanuel Navarrete vs Christopher Diaz.
For the vast majority of his short career, Vargas started each and every one of his contests the same. The Puerto Rican native would blast his opponents early and often while avoiding the oncoming onslaught of his opposition. This time around, however, the slippery style of Vargas did him no favors.
Shaw (13-3, 9 KOs) came out aggressive in the opening frame. He pushed his man back and forced him to fight on the inside. While Vargas attempted to use his skills and abilities to turn things into a boxing match, Shaw would hear none of it as he forced him to fight from close distance. With a clear round one for Shaw, Vargas wasted no time in getting it back. The 22-year-old came out boxing and bouncing on his toes after his father/trainer urged him to do so.
Despite Shaw holding both a height and reach advantage, he couldn’t find the mark in round two as more and more of his shots hit nothing but air. Vargas (19-1, 9 KOs) continued his momentum into round three, landing shots at will while proving to be nearly impossible to hit.
As Vargas began banking rounds, Shaw grew more and more desperate. In round six, he once again forced Vargas to fight at a much faster pace. At the midway point of the round, Shaw landed an awkward looping right hand that wobbled the legs of Vargas momentarily. Outside of the opening frame, it was Shaw’s best work yet.
Uninterested in allowing Shaw to build any momentum, Vargas got right back to his boxing in round seven. A visibly tired Shaw plodded forward as his face began swelling from the hard shots landed by Vargas.
As their contest continued, the New York native appeared more content with fighting in the middle of the ring. To the surprise of no one, Vargas continued to land shot after shot while walking away from exchanges unscathed.
As the championship rounds rolled by, it became clear that Shaw needed a miracle to knock off Vargas. While he attempted to empty the tank in the final frame, Vargas merely smiled as he cruised to the final bell.
Although boxing is often known as the theater of the unknown, there was nothing surprising about the end result as Vargas jogged around the ring holding his hand in the air. His initial thoughts were officially confirmed as he was handed a wide decision victory by the scores of 98-92 and 99-91 on the two remaining scorecards.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez Undercard Results: Josue Vargas Boxes Circles Around Kendo Castaneda
Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) made it look entirely too easy against veteran super lightweight contender Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOs).
The two clashed at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. From the offset, Vargas looked smooth boxing on the outside and hitting his opponent whenever he wanted. The normally light hitting Bronx, New York native floored his man in the second round. Castaneda however, bounced back up and kept on moving forward.
As the rounds ticked by Castaneda found himself digging a deeper and deeper hole on the judges scorecards. Just when it seemed as though the 22 year old would have everything his way, Castaneda landed a right hand that had his man visibly hurt in the seventh round.
Vargas opted to stay away from his man for the remainder of the round and attempted to clear his head once the bell rang. Luckily for him, he did just that as he came out for the eighth round, appearing as though nothing ever happened.
For the remainder of their contest, Vargas was simply too good and too slick for his opponent and punished him over and over again. As the final bell rang, Vargas left no doubt who was victorious on the night. The scorecards were lopsided as ever and following ten dominant rounds, the New York native called for matches against the top contenders in his weight class. A request that might just happen in 2021.
ESPN Boxing Results: Josue Vargas Boxes Circles Around Salvador Briceno
Super lightweight contender Josue Vargas (17-1, 9 KOs) may have had an easy time inside of the ring against Salvador Briceno (17-6, 11 KOs) but it was a difficult night for him outside of it.
Before his co main event against Briceno, the father of Vargas was unable to corner his son’s fight due to him breaking the rules of leaving the bubble. Vargas was emotional during an interview discussing his upcoming contest, but he managed to get past his issues and cruised to a unanimous decision victory against Briceno.
It was nearly a clean sweep as Briceno was awarded only one round on the night. The final scorecards were as followed 99-91 while the remaining two judges gave every single round to Vargas via 100-90.
All Eyes on Josue Vargas Against Salvador Briceno
By: Hans Themistode
The arena will be empty tonight, but the stage has never been bigger for Josue Vargas.
The super lightweight contender faces off against Salvador Briceno in the co main event at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 22 year old Vargas is in search of attention, and on December 14th, 2019, he got exactly what he wanted. On the night, the Puerto Rican born native joined a star studded lineup in Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez and Michael Conlan when he took on Noel Murphy. On paper, it was the biggest fight of his life as the vacant IBF North American title was on the line.
Vargas boxed circles around his man on his way to a unanimous decision victory. The belt that he gained on the night was the first check mark on his long list of what he hopes to accomplish before he hangs up the gloves. Grabbing world titles, winning big fights and of course, getting checks that are even bigger.
The road to his goals will take a jump forward if he is able to pick up the win tonight against Briceno. At the age of 25, his performances have been a mixed bag of results. On some nights, he can look sensational. His second round stoppage against Eddie Guzman in his last ring appearance can attest to that. Other times however, he can look flat and out of whack. Case in point would be his unanimous decision loss against Yomar Alamo in mid 2019.
Consistency is what Briceno is in search of. It’s been four years since he has been able to reel off three straight victories. Vargas on the other hand, hasn’t tasted defeat in the same time frame.
Mentioning the lone loss of his career to Vargas is something that he takes umbrage to. He is quick to remind those who look at his marred record that it should be picture perfect.
Everything was going according to plan for Vargas on the night he took Samuel Santana in 2016. He was out classing his man over the course of three rounds and was on his way to another victory. Yet, with only a few seconds left in the round, Vargas inadvertently hit his man while his back was turned and the action was paused. He was disqualified on the night while comfortably ahead on the scorecards of all three judges at the time.
The 0 in the loss column that fighters attempt to protect at all costs was gone. But he’s taken care of his business in the ring as if it never happened. Vargas has dominated the competition. Now, he finds himself in the co main event on Top Rank’s summer series card tonight.
The usual presence of Puerto Rican flags being held by his fans will be replaced with empty seats and silence. But what first felt like a step back for Vargas, will actually be a step forward. Hundreds of thousands of eyes will be placed upon him on the night from the comfort of their homes. Something he isn’t accustomed to.
Vargas will be looking to take full advantage of his new found platform. But the man standing across the ring from him on the night will be looking to do the same.
To watch Josue Vargas vs Salvador Briceno and the rest of the four fight card tonight, tune into ESPN 8 PM ET.