Mikey Garcia Defeats Jessie Vargas, Chocolatito Stops Khalid Yafa
By: Rich Lopez
A full house of 10,000 fans were on hand at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Matchroom Boxing presented a stacked card that streamed seven fights on DAZN. The main event and the two world title fights on the card were expected to be action packed fights on paper. It turned out to be just that.
In the main event, Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KO’s) was successful this time around at his second fight as a welterweight. He won the vacant WBC Diamond Welterweight Title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KO’s). The opening round was a good round for Vargas. He used the jab well throughout the round. He also landed good right hands and left hooks on Garcia. Round two was another good round for Vargas. He was landing good jabs and right hands. Garcia was moving forward but he was not letting his hands go. Things heated up in round three. Garcia came forward with hard jabs but Vargas landed hard jabs as well. Garcia was able to land a right hand to the head of Vargas but Vargas counter back with a left hook to the jaw of Garcia. There was good action from both fighters in round four. Vargas was still effective with the jab. In round five, Garcia finally picked up the pace and landed a right hand that hurt Vargas. Then Garcia landed a perfect right hand on the jaw of Vargas that dropped him. Vargas got up and Garcia went for the finish but Vargas survived the round. Garcia continued to stay busy in round six, while Vargas was still trying to recover. In round seven, Garcia had a good round backing up Vargas with his left jab and landing straight right hands. A hard right hand from Garcia hurt Vargas at the end of the round. The pace slowed down in round eight but it was still a good round for Garcia. Vargas looked more tired.
In round nine, Garcia slowed his pace as Vargas came forward. Garcia still out landedVargas in the round. Vargas showed toughness in round ten. He fought better and backed up Garcia. Garcia still landed the better combinations of the two fighters in the round. Vargas had a good comeback in round eleven. He did a better job of pushing back Garcia while Garcia was less active. In the final round, both fighters gave a strong finish and the round was close. At the end, the final scores were 114-113, 116-111 (twice) all for Garcia.
Vargas had a great start to the fight. Garcia who’s known as a slow-started picked up the pace and took over the fight. Vargas came back a little in the late rounds but it was not enough. It was a solid win for Garcia but he had a tough fight. Vargas was as tough as they come. What’s next for both fighters? For Garcia, he will stay in the welterweight division as he defeated a solid welterweight and the bigger fights are there for him. Like the broadcasters mentioned, a potential fight with Manny Pacquiaowould be more suitable for Garcia. For Vargas, expect him to see him in another big fight as he always puts a good outing.
In the co-feature, former pound for pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO’s) came back to regain his crown. He won the WBA World Super Flyweight Title by a ninth round TKO over Khalid Yafai (26-1, 15 KO’s). Both fighters got to a good start in the opening round. Yafai started to box well using his jab and landing quick combinations. Gonzalez started his body attack towards the end of the round. Round two was a good round for Gonzalez. Yafai stayed in theinside with Gonzalez and traded with him. Gonzalez worked well to the body and landed a good right hand on Yafai. Gonzalez also landed a left uppercut that bothered Yafai. In round three, Yafai stood his ground and traded with Gonzalez. He landed more punches in the round but Gonzalez was also landing good shots as well. Twice in the round, the mouthpiece came out of Yafai during exchanges. Gonzalez picked up the attack in round four. He landed good combinations to the head and body of Yafai. Gonzalez mixed his attack with hooks and uppercuts. Gonzalez kept his relentless attack in round five. Gonzalez ripped shots to the head and body of Yafai. Yafai was forced to hold at one point due to the accumulation of punches. Gonzalez kept his high work rate in round six. Yafai stood and traded with Gonzalez but he was wearing out. Gonzalez got cut on his right eye by a clash of heads in the round. In round seven, Gonzalez was backing up Yafai. Gonzalez continued his onslaught and Yafai looked very fatigued. Yafai then decided to trade with Gonzalez in the eighth round. However, Gonzalez outworked him with combinations. He landed a right hand that snapped Yafai’s head back. Then a barrage of punches dropped Yafai. Yafai managed to get up and finish the round. In round nine, Gonzalez landed a huge right hand on the chin of Yafaithat dropped him on his back. The referee started the count but then waived off the fight after Yafai could not continue. The stoppage occurred at 29 seconds of the ninth round.
Yafai decided to take advantage of his size and trade shots with the smaller Gonzalez. Yafai had some success early on but fought Gonzalez’s fight. The question of whether Gonzalez was finished was answered quickly. Gonzalez showed why he is oneof the true greats in boxing and is now a world champion again. The super flyweight division is stacked. The most attractive fight for Gonzalez would be a rematch between him and Juan Francisco Estrada. Gonzalez defeated Estrada back in 2012. Now, Estrada is the Lineal champion of the division. The rematch would be a great fight. As for Yafai, he can take the loss as a learning lesson and bounce back from it. He showed a lot of heart and the willingness to go toe to toe with the dangerousGonzalez.
In an entertaining fight, Julio César Martinez (16-1, 12 KO’s) retained his WBC World Flyweight Title by a twelve round unanimous decision over Jay Harris (17-1, 9 KO’s). In the opening round, Harris got off to a good start by establishing hisjab. Martinez close the gap landing combinations to the head of Harris. Harris had a good round two. He landed good righthands to the head of Martinez. Martinez closed the round with a quick right hook. There were good combinations from both fighters in round three. Harris landed quick straight punches to the head of Martinez while Martinez landed good body punches on Harris. Round four was a good action round. Harris continued with straight punches to the head of Martinez. Martinez fired back with hard body shots. The pace was relentless from both fighters in round five. Martinez got the better of the exchanges and continued his body attack. Harris had a good comeback in round six. He landed the better punches in the round while Martinez was still working the body of Harris. In round seven, Martinez started fast with a right hand that hurt Harris. Martinez then got inside and worked the body of Harris. Harris finished the round strong with good combinations to the head and body of Martinez. The pace slowed down a little bit in round eight. Harris displayed quick combinations to the head of Martinez. The action picked backed up in round nine. Martinez got off with quick combinations to the head and body. Harris stood his ground though and fought back. In the opening of round ten, Martinez caught Harris with a left hook and then a right hook to the body that put him down. Harris got up and did an excellent job fighting back in the round,even though he was hurt. Round eleven was a good round for Harris as he boxed and moved well. The final round was a slower pace for both fighters. The action picked up at the end. Both fighters closed the show at the end with both of them throwing a barrage of punches at each other. At the end, the final scores were 118-109, 116-111, and 115-112 all for Martinez.
Once again Martinez did not disappoint. He provided another thrilling fight for the fans and showed why he is one of the most action packed fighters to watch. Martinez made the first successful defense of his title. Now, it will be time for Martinez to unify with the other belt holders of the division. As for Jay Harris, he looked great and he gave a good account of himself. He went toe to toe with Martinez taking the fight to distance. We will see Harris again soon.
Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2, 21 KO’s) was successful in his return. He TKO Shawndell Terell Winters (13-3, 12 KO’s) in the fifth round. Parker started off fast in the opening round and threw hard jabs to back off Winters. Towards the end of the round, Parker landed a good left hook on Winters. In round two, Parker had another good round. He backed up Winters to the ropes with stiff jabs and straight right hands. Parker continued landing hard right hands on Winters in round three. A huge right hand from Parker dropped Winters towards the end of the round. Winters got up and survived the round. In round four, Parker pushed back Winters. However, Wintersfought well in the round. Parker suffered a cut on his right eye from a left hook from Winters. In round five, Winters started strong and came forward. Parker then landed a hard right hand that hurt Winters. Parker followed it up with a three punch combination. A right hand, left hook, and a right hand that dropped Winters again. Winters managed to get up but was out of it. The referee called the fight off at 2:40 of round five.
Parker did what he was supposed to do and stopped his opponent. It was a good comeback fight for Parker. Look to see him next in a more significant fight next.
Decorated amateur Israil Madrimov (5-0, 5 KO’s) continued his knockout streak. He scored a TKO in the sixth round over Charlie Navarro (29-10, 22 KO’s) in a super welterweight bout. In the opening round, Madrimov showed a little bit of everything. He boxed well moving side to side. He landed right hands to the head and straight punches to the body of Navarro. In round two, Madrimov landed a left hook that buzzed Navarro. In round three, Navarro was concentrating on landing a counter punch on Madrimov but was not able to do it. Madrimov did a good job landing straight body punches on Navarro. Madrimovlooked for the knockout in round four. He landed a right hand that hurt Navarro. Then he threw left hooks to the body and head of Navarro. Navarro looked like he was ready to go but he hung in tough. In round five, Navarro landed a good counter punch to the body of Madrimov but it was his only moment. Madrimovtook over the round and landing combinations. Madrimovcontinued his onslaught in round six. He went to the body of Navarro which paid off. He landed a left hook to the body that dropped Navarro. Navarro was tough and gamed as he got up. Madrimov went after him and landed a right hand to the head. Navarro fell down and the referee called the fight off. The stoppage came at 2:24 of round six.
In the super middleweight division, Diego Pacheco (9-0, 7 KO’s) stayed undefeated and dominated Oscar Riojas (21-13-1, 10 KO’s) to earn a six round unanimous decision. Riojas came out being the aggressor in the opening round while Pacheco was keeping his distance. Then Pacheco came forward and landed right hands to the head of Riojas. In round two, Pacheco continued to hit Riojas with hard right hands to the head. Riojas was reaching with his punches on the taller Pacheco but could not land anything significant. Pacheco continued to stay busy in round three. Riojas showed a good chin but was still having a hard time getting inside. Pacheco kept the pressure in round four and Riojas kept backing up. In round five, Riojas started the round coming forward and he threw a few hooks to the body but nothing landed. Pacheco landed a hard right hand that stunned Riojas. In the final round, Pacheco landed a huge right hand that wobbled Riojas. Pacheco went for the finish and landed combinations to the head of Riojas but he survived the round. The final scores were 60-54, all for Pacheco.
In the opening bout of the DAZN telecast, Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KO’s) remained undefeated. He defeated Delvecchio Savage (3-6-1, 3 KO’s) by a six round unanimous decision in a super middleweight contest. The opening round was a feel out round. It was a close round where Savage landed a nice straight left hand on Espino and then Espino landed a good left hook on Savage. Espino opened up more in round two and he landed the more and effective punches in the round. Espino used his jab very well. Espino had a good round three. He landed good jabs and right hands on the head of Savage. Round four was a good action round. Espino landed good body punches in the round and also landed good uppercuts. Savage showed a good effort fighting back but Espino landed the better punches. In round five, Espino let his combinations go to the head and body of Savage. Savage was tired and bloodied but fought back in spots. In the final round, Espino threw all the power shots and went for the knockout. Savage showed toughness and fought back. Espino continued with hard body shots and uppercuts on Savage. The final scores were 60-54, 59-55 (twice), all for Espino.