By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
In the co feature bout at StubHub Center in Carson, California, WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs ) of Mexico City scored a twelve round unanimous decision over Ronny Rios (28-2, 13 KOs). Vargas was defending his WBC title he won over Gavin McDonnell going into hostile territory for the second fight in a row as the local favorite Rios of nearby Santa Ana, California was looking to become Santa Ana’s first ever world champion.
Rios off to a fast start shot right hands to the body as Vargas jabbed following up with looping rights. In round two Vargas connected with a left hook to the body as Vargas returned landing a solid right hand. Trading away in the third Rios backed Vargas up as he went to the body crunching him in the closing seconds. Keeping his distance in round four Vargas shot the jab and fired combinations.
A body shot by Rios backed Vargas to start the fifth as he followed up with an uppercut, later in the round Rios landed a solid left hook. The sixth round saw Rios work inside as Vargas kept his distance boxing away. Past the halfway point in round seven it was all action as Rios pressed Vargas threw combinations. A looping right by Rios followed by a left hook staggered Vargas as he escaped from the attack surviving the round.
Late in the fight in the eighth the left hook found its mark for Rios as he backed Vargas to the ropes, the Mexico City fighter continued to keep his distance. The left hook was the key for Rios as he continued to connect Vargas in the tenth, who fired combinations and boxed away. The championship rounds saw Vargas busier pop away with the jab from a distance and fire combinations inside as the local fighter attempted to get inside. The twelfth and final round the champion Vargas was conservative in keeping his distance boxing as the hometown fighter and challenger Rios pressed sensing the urgency.
In the end, the judges scored the bout 118-110, 118-110, and 115-113 as Vargas retains his WBC super bantamweight title.