WBC Super Bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs) retained his title with a tough unanimous decision victory over Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) in the co-main event at the StubHub Center.
Vargas and Rios entertained the sold out crowd with an action-packed bout but in the end, Vargas prevailed with his length and accuracy. Two judges scored the bout 118-110 and a third judge scored the bout 115-113.
The bout was closer than the scores indicate. Mexico’s Rios said they came here to take the belt back home, even if that means that they didn’t get the knockout.
“Rios was definitely an intelligent and skillful fighter,” said Vargas. “He got me with some head shots that threw me off, and he was of an elite level when it came to his boxing. We definitely need to go back and refine our style.”
Vargas landed multiple combinations, one of them culminating with a hard right hand in Round 2. Vargas went to his bread and butter, attacking the body.
Rios began to pressure in Round 3 and backed Vargas into the ropes before landing some hard body shots. While Rios stalked, Vargas continued to land shots from the outside in bunches.
“I wasn’t expecting for him to move so much,” said Rios. “He was running more than I was expecting for him to. We put up a good fight, and my team and I will have to go back to the drawing board.”
Pressing the action didn’t help Rios as Vargas was able to land jabs from a distance. In Round 8, Rios stunned Vargas with a vicious left hook but didn’t do much after that.
Vargas outboxed Rios in the final rounds to secure the victory and remain unbeaten.
All photos by Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions