Rey Vargas overcomes bad cuts to outbox Oscar Negrete, retain junior feather belt

By Ryan Songalia

NEW YORK — Other than two cuts that are the stuff of a fighter’s nightmare, it wasn’t too bad of a night for Rey Vargas.

The WBC junior featherweight titleholder made his second title defense with a bloody unanimous decision over gutsy brawler Oscar Negrete on Saturday at Madison Square Garden to open the Miguel Cotto-Sadam Ali card on HBO. The scores were 119-109 on two cards and 120-108 on the third, all for the 27-year-old Vargas of Mexico City.

It was an uneventful performance for the rangy Vargas (31-0, 22 knockouts) for the first half of the fight, as he innovated combos on the fly against the shorter, aggressive Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) with a style reminiscent of Manuel “Mantecas” Medina. The fight got a sudden injection of drama in the seventh and eighth rounds, as two gaping wounds were opened up above each of Vargas’ eyes by a pair of accidental headbutts.

The cuts brought confidence to Negrete, a Colombian now based in Los Angeles, but Vargas showed that he had a few tricks at his disposal even as his vision was compromised, turning Negrete into the ropes and wacking him in the mouth with a right hand before opening up a combination.

Any opening Negrete had was gone by the championship rounds as he motioned to his left shoulder in the corner, complaining of soreness following a one-sided paint job in the eleventh.

The New York exposure will raise Vargas’ profile in a division where pound-for-pound entrant Guillermo Rigondeaux holds the WBA title, and Jessie Magdaleno, the division’s number 2 contender, is the WBO titleholder. Vargas is rated number 3 while the IBF titleholder Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan is rated eighth.

The post Rey Vargas overcomes bad cuts to outbox Oscar Negrete, retain junior feather belt appeared first on The Ring.

Source:: The Ring – Boxing

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