LOS ANGELES – Junior welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas got what he came for in the Fight Night Club main event Thursday at Club Nokia, some hard work and a victory.
Vargas’ opponent, Cristian Favela of Mexico, doesn’t have much of a record (28-32-7, 18 knockouts) but invariably gives even talented young fighters like Vargas a tough time with good conditioning, solid skills and sheer determination.
Thursday was no exception even though he took the fight on two days notice, which provided Vargas (14-0, 7 KOs) with a good learning experience.
The former amateur standout from Las Vegas, who is trained by Roger Mayweather, showed his superior pedigree by outboxing – and outworking – Favela to win a unanimous eight-round decision, although he could do nothing to slow down his resilient foe.
Those familiar with the backgrounds of the fighters figured Vargas would eventually wear Favela down with more and harder punches but the underdog, who landed many wild shots, continued to fire back until the final bell sounded.
The judges scored it 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75.
In the end, Favela did what he was supposed to do – fight his heart out but lose. And Vargas will be a better fighter because of that.
In preliminary bouts, junior middleweight prospect Bastie Samir, a Ghanian who had KO’d all nine of his opponents, struggled with a surprisingly slick Eddie Hunter (5-5-2, 2 KOs) of Seattle for a few rounds.
However, his power ultimately ended any threat. Samir (10-0, 10 KOs) hurt Hunter with a left hook, followed with a barrage of punches, landed another big hook and referee Raul Caiz Jr. jumped in to end it. The official time: 51 seconds into round three.
Samir lives in Las Vegas and trains with Ken Adams.
Jamie Kavanagh, a lightweight prospect from Ireland who trains with Freddie Roach in Hollywood, Calif., defeated Ramon Flores of Wilmington, Calif., by a unanimous decision in a six-round bout.
Flores (3-11-2, 3 KOs), a wild swinger with a lot of heart, gave the one-time amateur star a tough time for one round. However, after Kavanagh (5-0, 2 KOs) figured him out, he picked him apart with sharp, accurate punches the rest of the way.
Kavanagh probably outlanded Flores by a 5-1 margin in the end, although he never he seriously hurt him. The Irishman, who was cut below the right eye in the final round, won 60-54 on all cards.
And Ricardo Malfavon (1-4) stopped Salvador Rios (2-2) 29 seconds into a scheduled four-round welterweight fight. Rios, the brother of prospect Ronny Rios, was hurt by a big right and couldn’t recover. Both fighters live in Santa Ana, Calif.