Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs), left no questions unanswered last night in Washington, D.C., defeating Sadam Ali (22-1, 13 KOs) by TKO and claiming the WBO World welterweight title in the process. The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and televised on HBO Boxing.
Vargas was focused for this fight, his loss to Timothy Bradley left a bad taste in his mouth and has haunted him. It didn’t take Vargas long to figure Sadam Ali out, after a few rounds, the two continued trading punches with Vargas getting the better shots landing.
Both fighters battled back and forth in the early rounds, shots from Vargas being more effective. Ali slipped in round 2 after a Vargas punch, but it was clear that is was just a slip. But a crafty Ali would not go away, he seemed to find his range and ended the round with a series of beautifully thrown punches that caught the attention of Vargas.
In round 5, Ali’s eye began to show signs of abuse as it was constantly pelted by blows from Vargas. What was impressive was the speed of Vargas and the blistering left hooks. Ali kept battling and showed some great skill, testing Vargas in the process. As the round continued, Vargas landed a hard shot to the body of Ali, sending him to the nearby ropes and saving him from hitting the canvas. The blow definitely caught the attention of Ali and had him off balance, but it was not ruled a knockdown.
The momentum had shifted in favor Vargas in round 6 as he continued landing some very effective and precise punches. Ali just would not go away though, he continued to battle Vargas and was slowly finding his rhythm and was still very much in this fight by the end of round 7.
The breakthrough for Vargas would come in round 8, landing a devastating hard right that dropped Ali for a count. A tough and crafty Ali survived the round but was clearly dazed, even going to the wrong corner.
Vargas continued where he left off at the start of round 9, dropping the torn and hurt Ali with a hard blow for yet another count and again survived. Credit the heart of Ali as he tried to continue, but another hard right by Vargas nearly dropped Ali again. The referee wisely stopped the bout and saving Ali from serious injury, the official time of the TKO stoppage was 2:09 of round 9.
This was a good win for Vargas, he defeated a tough Sadam Ali who made it a fight and fought with a lot of heart. The loss to Timothy Bradley has sparked a desire in Vargas, no fighter enters a fight with the intent on losing, we have seen a different Vargas after his win against Ali.
For Jessie Vargas, the loss to Bradley is just what he may have needed to become a champion. His one loss may always burn deep within him and that’s just will bring out the very best in him.