Rey Vargas returned to the ring for the first time in nine months, but his return was anything but an easygoing on.
Vargas successfully retained the WBC super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over Franklin Manzanilla. Vargas won after all three judges giving him the win with scores of 117-108.
Manzanilla threatened early on to score a major upset when he dropped Vargas in the second round with a left hook Vargas did not see coming. Vargas recovered but had to endure another round of Manzanilla being the aggressor. Vargas would start to turn the tables with a solid hook at the end of the fourth round that hurt Manzanilla.
As the fight got progressively deeper, Manzanilla and Vargas would engage in a very physical bout, with lots of clinching and head clashes. Vargas would receive multiple cuts throughout the fight all over his face, but the cuts were not particularly deep. Manzanilla committed multiple fouls throughout the fight, hitting at the break, hitting behind the head and was deducted a point on two separate occasions for his multiple transgressions inside the ring. Vargas spent the majority of the fight outlanding and outworking Manzanilla, leading to another decisive win on the scorecards.
This was Vargas’ first fight since May 2018 when he defended his title against Azat Hovhannisyan. The fight against Manzanilla took place as the co-main event bout to the WBA “Regular” super featherweight title bout between Alberto Machado and Andrew Cancio. Cancio would win the fight by fourth-round KO to become the new WBA champion.