By Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
In a clash between unbeaten super bantamweights, WBC world champion Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) outscored Oscar Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) to retain his title on Saturday night at MSG. Vargas was cut over both eyes by headbutts, but won 119-108, 119-108, 120-108.
Both fighters had the agility and speed to trouble each other which led to an entertaining bout filled with back and forth action. Vargas came out of the gate running as he pressed Negrete into the corners in nearly every exchange, leading with his left jab to open up the right hook with ease thanks to his longer reach. By the middle rounds Negrete decided that fighting on the inside would be a better strategy and found success as Vargas’ reach was neutralized.
By the 7th round Negrete began dictating the action, hurling overhand hooks and landing a handful, one of which opened a cut above Vargas’ beneath his right eyebrow. The 8th brought more misery to Vargas as Negrete was able to open up a cut above his left eye to even out the damage. Vargas was able to compose himself and limit the impact of those two cuts and used his jab to see out the remaining rounds.
After 12 rounds of action, the judges at ringside scored the fight 119-109, 119-109 and 120-108, leaving the belt with Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) and sending Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) back with his first professional defeat.