Rey Vargas had to deal with bad cuts and a more-than-capable opponent in Azat Hovhannisyan in order to retain his WBC super bantamweight title.
Fighting in the co-main event fight of the Sadam Ali vs. Jaime Munguia WBO junior middleweight title, Vargas managed to escape with his WBC title with a unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111, 116-112) win over Hovhannisyan. The fight took place on HBO at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
The fight started with fireworks as both men landed numerous hard shots, one of which opened up a cut above Vargas’ left eye with blood pouring out from it throughout the fight. Hovhannisyan managed to stun Vargas in the first round, but the champion seemed to bounce back and recover to get back into the fight. The following rounds continued to be a slugfest between the two 122-pound boxers. Hovhannisyan got several combinations in midway through the fight, but quickly tired himself and allowed Vargas to get back and take control of the fight, creating a cut above Hovhannisyan’s right after one particular exchange.
The last few rounds of the fight was nothing more than scrappy fighting from both men and lots of pushing to the ground. Both men had been dropped to the mat multiple times throughout the fight, but none of them were considered knockdowns as the referee deemed them to be pushes and not legitimated knockdowns. An accidental clash of heads created another bad cut on Vargas towards the end of the fight and Hovhannisyan managed to throw one more barrage of punches but it was too little, too late for Hovhannisyan.
Vargas now moves to 32-0 and has made three successful defenses of the WBC title with his last defense being a unanimous decision win over Oscar Negrete last December.