Former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia defeated former two-division champ Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision on Saturday at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The official scores read: 116-11 (X2) and 114-113 in favor of Garcia.
In the early rounds, Vargas looked fairly sharp, as he fired off the jab and landed some really nice counters. But after the first four rounds, Garcia began to open up and find his range with power shots.
The first big moment from Garcia came in the fifth round, when Garcia hurt and floored Vargas with a hard right hand. Vargas was able to get to his feet and finish the round, but he spent much of the next few rounds on the receiving end of Garcia’s shots.
Although he may have won a round or two of the last quarter of the fight, it was clear by the end of the 12 rounds of action that Vargas had been outpointed by Garcia, who on Saturday scored his first win since his loss to Errol Spence Jr. last March.
For Garcia (40-1, 30 KO), a potential title opportunity against current WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao could be next. According to Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, a deal is being worked out for both Pacquiao and Garcia to meet headline a DAZN-streamed card in Saudi Arabia on July 11. Nothing has been officially announced though.
In the co-main event, former “pound-for-pound” superstar Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez captured the WBA super flyweight title with a ninth round TKO of defending champion Kal Yafai.
Yafai, who was undefeated going into the bout, tried to walk down and wear out the visibly smaller fighter throughout. Although Yafai landed some effective shots, Chocolatitio continued to fight on the inside with and eventually outpunched Yafai.
Despite suffering a cut over his right eye from an accidental headbutt, Gonzalez continued to press forward and swarm Yafai with punches. Finally in the ninth round, Gonzalez caught Yafai with a devastating right hand that sent him to the canvas and prompting referee Luis Pabon to stop the fight.
Gonzalez’s win over Yafai was his first world title fight victory since he outpointed Carlos Cuadras in September 2016.
Also on the card was WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez, who successfully defended his title with a unanimous decision win over Jay Harris. The official scores read: 118-109, 116-111 and 115-112.
While Harris had his moments throughout, the punching power and speed of Martinez just proved to be much for Harris, who was knocked down and badly hurt with a body shot in the 10th round.
Harris hung in tough and landed plenty of shots on the defending champ, but the the difference was most likely the thudding punching power and body word from Martinez.
Finally, former WBO heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker earned his third consecutive knockout victory over Shawndell Winters, stopping him in the fifth round of the bout.