PBC on FS1 results: Jessie Vargas shuts out Aaron Herrera
Making his return to the ring, Jessie Vargas earned a shut-out unanimous decision (100-89 on all three official scorecards) win over Aaron Herrera, Friday night. The welterweight bout was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card held at the Pioneer Events Center in Lancaster, California, and televised on FS1.
Under the guidance of his new trainer Mike “The Bodysnatcher” McCallum, Vargas, who has always been fundamentally sound, displayed a versatile lead left hand that controlled most of the fight. Herrera, 33-8-1 (22), didn’t offer much creativity with his counterpunching and that allowed Vargas to put on a clinic.
After sustaining an accidental headbutt in the fourth, Vargas really turned it on by throwing left hands to Herrera’s body. In the sixth, Vargas continued with his his precise shots by putting together combinations. After a right hand to the chin, a left hook square on Herrera’s face dropped him hard for the fight’s only knockdown. Vargas had the latter half of the round to try and get Herrera out of there but the Mexican proved to be too tough to let it happen.
Vargas, 28-2 (10), who was coming off a year layoff since his most recent fight, when he lost the WBO welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao, walked out of the ring looking the same as he did going into it and, after pitching the shut-out, hoped for a bigger challenge, now that the warm-up was over.
“Any of them,” responded Vargas, when asked by Premier Boxing Champions’ Jordan Hardy, whom he wants next, in the post-fight interview. “I’ll take tonight off and tomorrow. I’ll get back in the gym and, looking at the champions, (WBA/WBC beltholder Keith Thurman, (IBF titlist) Errol Spence (Jr.) – he has a fight against Lamont Peterson – but I’m looking forward to the winner (of Spence Jr.-Peterson) or Keith Thurman. Also Danny Garcia. I look forward to going back in March; God willing.”
Jamal “Shango” James earned the biggest win of his young career so far, by knocking out Diego Chaves with a body shot in the third round. The welterweight contest was scheduled for 10 rounds.
Fighting out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, James, who stands at 6-feet 2, used every bit of his height to give Chaves fits but it was a close exchange on the inside that sealed his fate. Trapping the experienced Argentinean against the ropes, James, 29, unleashed a left hook that snuck through Chaves’ right arm, sending him on his belly in writhing pain. The shot landed right on the belt line and Chaves, 31, 26-3-1 (22), with referee Tom Taylor shouting his count to 10, tried getting up late in the count but ran out of time.
John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. turned in a tremendous knockout win, in the co-feature, by getting up off the canvas to rid himself of Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach. The junior welterweight contest was scheduled for 10 rounds.
“A fight is a fight. It ain’t over til’ it’s over,” Molina told PBC’s Jordan Hardy in the post-fight interview.
Molina, 30-7 (24), seemed in dire straits, in the second round, after a perfect follow-up right hand on his chin dropped him hard to the mat for a knockdown. The shot was so perfect, Redkach, 20-4-1 (16), thought it was over by climbing the turnbuckle to celebrate but that would turn out be a premature blunder against the slugger out of Covina, California.
Wobbling Redkach by the end of that second stanza, Molina sparked a back-and-forth exchange to close out the round and the tremendous action continued into the third, in which the drama really heightened. Molina, who slugging nothing but hooks the whole fight, landed a perfect right hand to the chin, that served as the perfect retribution from earlier and, not only did it drop Redkach hard to the canvas, it knocked his mouthpiece out. Getting his gumshield back in took extra time but Molina went right back to flinging his power shots on a fighter who still seemed hurt. Once Molina tired a bit, Redkach managed to start throwing back, making for some thrilling drama between two fighters laying it all out.
In the fateful fourth, just after Redkach snarled at his foe to come forward, Molina pressed forward to get his back to the ropes and there he threw the quicker, shorter shots in an exchange. Soon enough, Redkach was looking for a way out but Molina kept him at bay and an accumulation of punches sent him falling forward and laying out on the mat. Referee Edward Hernandez Sr. waved off the fight immediately.
“In a primal way of saying things, I don’t want to be punked in front of my family,” Molina said later.
In the opening bout of the FS1 card, Wale Omotoso, 27-3 (21), earned a unanimous decision (100-90, 97-93, 96-94) over Freddy Hernandez, 34-9 (22), in the junior middleweight debut for the 32-year-old Nigerian.