On Saturday, December 2, 2017, Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) took on Oscar Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round fight for Vargas’ WBC world Super Bantamweight title.
The Colombian Negrete went into the bout giving up what seemed like a four foot height advantage to Vargas. In actuality, Vargas held a two-and-a-half inch height advantage, which made it extremely difficult for Negrete to get close and land effective shots.
Vargas, whose trainer is the legendary Nacho Berinstein and wanted him to work at mid-range, banged Negrete to the body with vicious power punches throughout the first three rounds.
While Vargas generally controlled the action throughout the next three rounds, Negrete did show a tremendous amount of determination and heart as he plowed his way forward into Vargas’ chest–often times eating a lot of flush shots.
Negrete, unlike many Colombian’s before him who have been featured on HBO, does not possess big knockout power, but he was able to throw punches in bunches and give Vargas something to think about.
By Round 8, the tide momentarily seemed to turn as blood started streaming down both sides of Vargas’ face due to cuts near the eyes. Both of the cuts were caused by headbutts, but they gave Negrete the energy to bring more pressure.
Vargas regained control by Round 9 as he refocused his efforts back on Negrete’s body.
By Round 11, Negrete’s energy had dipped severely as his punch output hit his lowest of the bout.
Negrete, with his huge heart and solid ability, is an exciting fighter, but simply too small for the Super Bantamweight division.
The official scores were 119-109 twice and 120-108 for Vargas.
Header photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO