Rey Vargas defended his WBC super bantam crown against Oscar Negrete Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden big room, and the longer and taller man used his physical assets to perfection.
In a battle of undefeateds, it was the Mexican Vargas who stayed unblemished, getting the UD after 12, by scores of 119-109, 119-109, 120-108.
In the first, longer taller Rey worked in retreat, then stood his ground and fired. Oscar had hands high, had a hard time getting inside those long arms, and ate a few mean body shots.
In the second, Rey was winging shots. Oscar did some work in tight, but his short arm jab didn’t really bother the tall man.
In the third, Rey threw punches in bunches, waved Oscar to come forward, and then got knocked down, but no knockdown, it was a push. Oscar was now cutting off the ring more feverishly, advancing harder. The tall man was solid with combos, though, and maintained distance well. Another Rey round.
In the fourth, Oscar couldn’t solve the height-distance gulf. In the fifth, Oscar was advancing even more feverishly.
In the sixth, Rey respected the wishes of Nacho Beristain in his corner, and moved smartly, to keep the bull out of his china shop. For a long armer, he can work OK in tight, helpful against Oscar. At mid-range, he can shoot with decent power, and that made it hard for Oscar to get inside enough to work. He wa soutside the house, knock knock knocking, not getting let in.
In the seventh, Rey was in sniper mode, pecking, hunting, backpedaling away to get the right distance. Oscar went down, but no knockdown was called. Was he getting fatigued?
In round eighth, sniper Vargas got off and got out, got away, did’t let Negrete close enough to counter. The long arm windmills went to the body, ripped to the sides. Then a cut on the lid of Rey’s left eye, the doc looked and let him go. He had a slice on each.
In the ninth, the left eye cut wasn’t closed to start the round. Then Oscar got buzzed. He was trying to rush in and land a right cross but Rey was backing away, seeing it coming.
In the tenth, Oscar was still chugging, coming forward, but Rey was making him miss. In the 11th, Rey kept pot-shotting skillfully, popped a long jab now and again, keep that perfect distance and took another round.
In the 12th, Rey stayed smart, kept up a respectable amount of offense to take the round, and we went to the cards.