Mikey Garcia defeats Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision to earn his first win in the welterweight division, as well as the WBC Diamond welterweight title.
Mikey Garcia showed he is a contender in the welterweight division, after defeating Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision (114-113, 116-111 x2). It was a back and forth, competitive fight where both men had their moments.
In the early rounds, Vargas appeared to be in command, controlling the distance and it appeared as though the size difference would be a factor in the fight.
However, towards the end of the fourth round, Garcia began to time his straight right hand, and then in the fifth round, he landed multiple straight right hands that eventually sent Vargas to the canvas.
That knockdown appeared to change the fight, as Garcia proceeded to string rounds together, continuing to land the straight right hand seemingly at will and gaining a sizable lead on the scorecards.
However, Garcia seemed to go on cruise control after the eighth round, taking his foot off the gas pedal, which allowed Vargas to climb back in the fight. It was too late for Vargas, but he was able to steal a few rounds to make the scores closer on the judge’s cards, and if not for the knockdown, one judge would have scored the fight a draw.
Garcia certainly looked more comfortable at 147 pounds this time around and his punches appeared to have nice pop in them. It is a little concerning that he did not show more urgency, allowing Vargas to work his way back in the fight when he could have easily closed the show, but it is something that can be addressed in training.
After the fight, Garcia expressed his desire to fight current WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. It is a fight that would certainly garner fan interest, and would give Garcia a chance to win a title in his fifth weight division, which he has stated is his goal.