While the focus of the April 26 Matchroom Boxing card at The Forum is on the two world title fights, several fighters made big statements in the matches preceding them on DAZN.
In the first fight of the main card, former world champion Jessie Vargas had an impressive showing in his junior middleweight debut against Humberto Soto. Vargas stopped Soto in the sixth round after an action-packed bout.
Vargas and Soto were dealing with cuts above their respective left eyes early in the fight, but Vargas' cut was much more severe. The two fighters traded big shots left and right throughout the fight, but Vargas' best round, the sixth, began with Vargas dropping Soto with a right hand followed by two more punches. After Soto got back up, Vargas immediately trapped him into the corner and unleashed a furious series of punches that forced the referee to stop the bout.
This wasn't the only big fight taking place on the card. The final card of the prelim card saw undefeated super middleweight Anthony Sims Jr. go the distance for the second time in his pro career as he won a 10-round decision against Vaughn Alexander. Sims, who is aiming to get a world title shot sometime this year, won with scores of 98-92, 98-92, 96-94.
Also on the prelim card, 18-year-old Diego Pacheco's U.S. debut was a resounding success after knocking out Guillermo Maldonado less than two minutes into their fight. Before that fight took place, Shakhram Giyasov had a big test in the form of Emanuel Taylor with Giyasov getting rocked multiple times throughout the first half of the fight. Giyasov was able to bounce back and win rounds in the second half of the fight and capture the WBA International junior welterweight title by unanimous decision (99-91, 99-91, 97-93).
Opening the card was the pro debut of highly-touted amateur Austin Williams. It took less than one complete round to showcase his skills and win his debut against Joel Guevara by knockout.