SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 21, 2018 – Boxing delivered the goods to fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with two exciting knockouts and a surprisingly entertaining main event. Who knew a Broner-Vargas draw would deliver?
Broner and Vargas battle it out to a draw
The most surprising outcome of the evening: admitting we’d like to see a rematch of the main event. No one would have predicted the matchup between welterweights Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) of Cincinnati and Jessie Vargas (28-2=1, 10 KOs) of Las Vegas would produce such an action packed content would be worth seeing a first time, never mind again.
How nice when boxing exceeds our expectations. Vargas, not known as a power puncher, does his best work fighting from the outside and employing his reach. Instead, Vargas jumped on Broner, landing hard shots to the body on the inside. It was fun to watch. Broner wasn’t firing back enough to make the rounds competitive, and Vargas started rolling up rounds.
But in the middle rounds of the fight, Broner finally warmed up, or woke up, or both. With his new trainer Kevin Cunningham begging him to get busy in the corner, Broner began to score with power shots, rocking Vargas. Fortunately for him, Vargas has a good chin and stayed on his feet. It was closer fight going into the championship rounds, and the punch activity climbed as the pair each tried to secure the win.
While judge Julie Lederman had it 115-114 for Broner, she was overruled by Kevin Morgan and Eric Marlinksi at 114-114.
CompuBox stats show Vargas was by far the busier fighter, but Broner ended up being the more accurate, narrowing the final results. Broner landed 194 of 507 total punches (38 percent), with 152 power punches; Vargas landed 203 of 839 punches (24 percent), with 141 power punches.
Broner launched a profane tirade in the ring after the right. Vargas said he thought he won the fight. “I landed clean, effective blows from the outside. Then I settled in, found the inside, landed clean, hard body shots. I thought it was a good fight, but I can’t dispute the decision of the judges … I felt I was up by two rounds.
How about a rematch? “I’m an honest man, we went at it for 12 rounds, we can do it again … I gave the fight fans in Brooklyn here a show. I hope you enjoyed it. Of course, we’ll run it back.”
Broner also made his case for being the winner. “We all know I won that fight. Point blank. Period. I want to thank Jessie Vargas, he’s a two time world champion. He came to fight but at the end of the day, y’all know I beat him.” Broner thanked his new coach Kevin Cunningham, as well as original trainer Mike Stafford for “understanding I needed to do something different.”
Broner said he’s up for the rematch, but wants home field advantage in Cincinnati.
Jermall Charlo scores big knockout win; bring on GGG
Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) of Houston, Texas destroyed Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-2, 14 KOs) of Oxnard with an electrifying second round knockout. Charlo becomes the new WBC interim middleweight title holder. His win now makes Charlo the mandatory challenger for the unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, and he appeared eager to get right to it.
Charlo only needed four minutes to finish off the night’s work, dropping Centeno with a series of hooks to the head, capped by a perfect left hook to the temple. Referee Steve Willis counted Centeno out as he lay on the canvas, but it was a courtesy; he could have stopped at two and waived it off.
“Two time world champion, bring on GGG, I want to talk about it,” said Charlo after he fight. “Bring him on, I’m ready man.” Asked about the inevitable promotional and managerial difficulties, Charlo said, “They can figure it out. I got the best manager in the world; he’s figured it out to this point. For now this is how it’s going to be. You see what you get.”
Gervonta Davis back in the super featherweight mix with knockout win over Cuellar
Gervonta Davis knew he needed to reaffirm his status as a talented player in the super featherweight division in his undercard fight against Jesus Cuellar. Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) left exactly the right impression, scoring a third round TKO win over the aging Argentinean Cuellar (28-3, 20 KOs).
Cuellar stood right in front of Davis, where he could put his speed to good use. Davis engaged exceptional body work, dropping Cuellar with a body shot once in the second round before making it stick with an impressive left hook to the liver. It was fight where one competitor ages seemingly overnight. Cuellar is only 31, but he’s fought some hard rounds including 12 tough ones in his loss to Abner Mares.
Davis channeled the motivation to prove himself. He’s now in position as a mandatory challenger for the formidable pound for pound champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Results from the non-televised undercard
On the non-televised portion of the card, former U.S. Olympian Rau’shee Warren (16-2, 4 KOs) continued his comeback effort with an unanimous decision over Juan Medina (10-3, 9 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. Scorecards were a shutdown, 80-72 X 3.
Heather Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) won the NABF featherweight title in an eight round decision over Paola Torres (12-2-1, 5 KOs). Scores were 79-73 and 78-74 twice. Hardy is retuning to boxing after spending time competing in mixed martial arts.
Fabian Maidana, younger brother of former champion Marcos Maidana of Argentina, also remained undefeated at 15-0 with 11 KOs, defeating Justin Savi of Ghana with a third round TKO. It was Maidana’s first fight back in the U.S. in two years after multiple bouts in South America.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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