Vargas mauls Tomlinson; Shabranskyy stops Pena
Francisco Vargas mauled his opponent, Will Tomlinson until the eighth round after referee Laurence Cole called a halt to the contest, resulting in a TKO victory. It was the main event of a Leija Battah Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions card held at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, broadcast live on HBO Latino Thursday night.
Upon the opening bell, Tomlinson wasted no time looking for a fight but Vargas timed his counter shots as his opponent stepped forward. Although it seemed like “Wild” Will was effective with his aggression, Vargas was landing the sharp punches and by the second round, Tomlinson eventually learned his lesson by not stepping in “El Bandido’s” territory.
By the end of that second round, Tomlinson was on his heels as Vargas started to come forward, ripping hooks to the ear and body. A big right hand to start off the third, was the thundering shot that visibly stunned Tomlinson and sparked an onslaught soon thereafter. Had an accidental headbutt not happened in the third, Vargas may have needed it then. Instead, he got the short end of the stick, suffering a bad cut over his left eye.
Despite the stroke of bad luck, Vargas kept landing accurate shots to Tomlinson’s face and eventually returned the favor the legal way by bloodying the left eye of his foe by the end of the fourth round. After a couple of more rounds of inadequate defense displayed by Tomlinson, his determination to not give up was evident but with his face bruised and battered, the crowd was seemingly waiting for his corner to throw in the towel. Halfway into the eighth, Vargas finally managed to send Vargas to the canvas and without hesitation, Cole rightfully waved his arms, waiving the need for a 10-count.
Vargas, 21-0-1 (16), looked impressive and felt confident enough to call out the winner of Orlando Salido vs. Roman Martinez bout (for Salido’s WBO junior lightweight title), which takes place April 11in Puerto Rico. Whomever Vargas faces in his first chance at a world title will have a tough defense in front of him. Tomlinson, 23-2-1 (13), was overwhelmed regardless of his good effort. The Australian will likely head back home after suffering the first knockout loss of his career.
Shabranskyy stops Pena
27-year old Ukrainian prospect, Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy forced his opponent, Fabiano Pena, to call it quits in between the fifth and sixth rounds, resulting in a fifth-round stoppage victory.
Shabranskyy had a distinct size advantage and used it to perfection with a strong jab behind his near 6-foot-4 frame. With it, he warded off any effort from Pena and relegated his opponent’s effort to mere, off-balanced haymakers. When Pena wasn’t throwing wild shots, he’d put himself in a shell but Shabranskyy did a good job of piercing his combinations through the guard as well as touching up the body.
It was a solid outing for Shabransky, 13-0 (11), despite looking like he was in a sparring session toward its end. Pena, 11-1-1 (8), faced his first opponent not coming off a loss in his career and it showed. The decision to not come out for the sixth round was the best decision he made all evening.
More results from the Leija-Battah Promotions card
Travel Mazion KO 1 Joshua Snyder
Yamaguchi Falcao KO 1 Raymond Terry
Zachary Ochoa KO 1 Engelberto Valenzuela
D’Mitrius Ballard KO 1 Jason Zabokrtsky
Armando Cardenas UD 6 Marco Antonio Solis