Liam Smith Gives Jessie Vargas a Bloody Welcome to the Super Welterweight Division
On the undercard of Serrano versus Taylor, Premier Boxing Champions fighter Jessie “The Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas (29-4-2, 11 KO’s) miserably lost his first contest in the super welterweight division. He smeared the latest blemish across his record by losing to one-time WBO 154-pound champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (31-3-1, 18 KO’s) by way of ninth round technical knockout. The loss made for a dreary comeback fight following his unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia back on February 29, 2020.
Now that he’s lost back-to-back fights and been unmercifully beaten in the new division, the future suddenly looks very bleak and foreboding for Jessie Vargas’ boxing career. Conversely, trouncing the smaller pugilist in such fashion on this huge stage is a great look for Liam Smith. It also now puts him on a two-fight win streak having just beaten Anthony Fowler after being bested by Magomed Kurbanov. It is not certain where Smith will land having been ranked #4 (WBA), #5 (WBO) and #9 (WBC) entering this match, but he should no doubt improve his standings.
The opening round was dominated by the busier Vargas, who pressed Smith who largely remained shelled up. Yet, few shots of real consequence were landed by either man. The Pride of Las Vegas did find success with his snappy jab, faster hands and looping body hooks. The second was a copy of the first until the final minute when the UK fighters offense began clicking. The last sixty seconds was composed of much more tit-for-tat action.
Vargas resumed control in the third on the strength of his volume and better footwork. Despite picking up a cut over the right eye, Smith did once again attempt to blitz the Pride of Las Vegas down the final minute. Then in the fourth, the bout was much more brutal and much more back and forth. Here Vargas picked up a gash over the left eye.
In the fifth, Liam Smith was much more the fluid fighter and the undeniable aggressor. He was digging to his foe’s body and started to do significant damage. Vargas was beginning to show the pace in his facial expressions. Beefy continued to plow through Vargas throughout the sixth. He was now chopping out chunks of will and energy out of the smaller man.
BEEN WRITTEN ON THE WALL
Smith continued to torment his body like cirrhosis coupled with a fresh bottle of Hennessy throughout the seventh. By the clanging of the bell, Vargas was a bloody mess, completely flummoxed and without answers. He persisted in his bewilderment and continued soaking up a beating usually reserved for unpaid mob debts until the ninth round. There, veteran referee Steve Willis had seen enough and intervened to save Vargas for any further damage. This was a fun and impressive win for Liam Smith.
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By: Bakari Simpson