LOS ANGELES-Fast-rising junior welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas proved you can?t come out of the mothballs and try to battle youth, speed and power in blowing out Oxnard?s Pablo Sarmiento in the first round on Thursday.
A heavy Southern California crowd of 1, 639 at Club Nokia saw a pair of Las Vegas fighters and a kid from Ireland show their stuff on the Golden Boy Promotions card.
Vargas was matched against a boxer Pedro Sarmiento (33-14-3, 16 KOs) who was good in his day but after six year a lot of cobwebs develop, even if Sergio ?Maravilla? Martinez is in your corner.
Vargas took a few seconds to look at Sarmiento?s hands down style and funky style to figure out what to do and the rest was academic. A stiff jab caught Sarmiento coming and stunned the Oxnard fighter who stumbled backward with Vargas following. A left uppercut and left hook dropped Sarmiento and he just could not get those 39-year-old legs to work.
?He was kind of awkward,? said Vargas (12-0, 7 KOs), who is trained by Roger Mayweather. ?I kind of caught him with a kind of hook jab. He was trying to throw a jab too.?
Vargas didn?t waste punches or time to realize what was needed to take care of the Spanish native who fights and lives now in Oxnard. Sitting in the crowd was current WBA junior welterweight titleholder and other former world champions.
?I like to study their (opponents) movements and see where he moves to before I punch,? said Vargas who trains in Floyd Mayweather?s gym in Las Vegas. ?I like to pick (vary) my punches so that way you never know what?s coming.?
Vargas said he welcomes a challenge with the current top junior welterweights.
?We would take Victor Ortiz in a minute,? said Leonard Ellerbee who advises Vargas and Mayweather.
Las Vegas junior welterweight prospect Anthony Martinez (6-0, 5 KOs) needed only 52 seconds to land a left hook to the liver of Minnesota?s Ronnie Peterson (2-4, 2 KOs) for a knockout win. Peterson was squared up too much and allowed the aggressive Martinez to slip that left under the guard for riveting shot.
?I looked at him and saw his hands were high-body shot,? said Martinez who had a second quick knockout win in Club Nokia. ?I wanted him to get up. I need the work.?
Ireland?s Jamie Kavanagh (3-0, 1 KOs) out-punched and out-landed Santa Ana?s Ricardo Malfavon (0-3) in every round but couldn?t muster enough firepower to hurt the OC boxer after four rounds of a junior welterweight fight. But those body blows did land.
Kavanagh, who was formerly trained in Spain and now taught by Freddie Roach in Hollywood, never found it difficult to land combinations. Yet, despite the overwhelming nature of those blows, Malfavon walked through them and was able to land a few uppercuts and right hands from long range. None ever hurt the Irish fighter but toward the end he tired slightly.
?That guy was desperate. He needed a win,? said Kavanagh. ?This guy had a lot more range than the last guy I fought.?
All three judges scored it 40-36 for Kavanagh.
?It was the body shots that won it for me,? Kavanagh said.
Lancaster?s Marcus Robinson got a win in his pro debut against Santa Ana?s Sal Rios (1-1) after four rounds of a junior welterweight fight. Robinson?s southpaw style and combination of holding through most of the fight proved troublesome to Rios. Two judges scored it for Robinson 39-37 and one for Rios 39-37.
East L.A.?s Ramon Valadez knocked down San Fernando?s Carlos Hernandez twice in winning by knockout at 2:15 of the first round of a lightweight contest.