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Jessie Vargas Beats Wale Omotoso on HBO Opener

BY Michael Woods ON March 16, 2013
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HBOmage001In HBO's opener, Jessie Vargas took on Wale Omotoso, from the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. on Saturday night. It was tightly matched scrap between the two prospects. Wale had the power edge while Vargas boxed smartly and set the tone and pace in many rounds. We went to the cards, and they saw it 96-92, 96-92, 97-92, for Vargas.

Vargas went 165-486 to 103-429 for the loser, according to CompuBox.

Omotoso will likely look back and wonder why he wasn't busier, why he didn't show more desire more often.

Jim Lampley described Vargas as a "pure boxer" and Omotoso as a "pure fighter" before the Top Rank fight started.

The Las Vegas resident Vargas (21-0 entering; age 23; 146 1/2 pounds) was 154 fight night and the Nigerian-born Omotoso (23-0 entering; age 27; 146 3/4) was 164.

Vargas came out looking to make a power punching statement in the first. But Wale's strength and power came to the fore in two and three. Wale scored a kncokdown in round two, giving him an extra point.

Vargas started moving more, being the boxer, and had better luck in the fourth.

Wale got caught coming in, in round five, and he was buzzed. A right thrown as Wale was readying his own right did it. Vargas pressed, as Wale's legs were jellied. He kept pressing forward, getting clipped and the ref stared hard but he made it to the sixth. Vargas went to the smart jabbing in the sixth, and Wale was slowed down. Vargas was up 112-66 in punches landed to this point.

In the seventh, Vargas set the tone with his jab and move style. Trainer Eric Brown told Wale to dictate the pace. "Cut the ring off," he told him after the round.

In round eight, Vargas got bold and waved Wale in, to trade. Not smart. Then he got back to boxing smart, jabbing and moving. A left look landed for Wale late, but likely not enough to win the round.

In the ninth, Wale wanted to land a power right, sensing maybe he might be down on the cards. Vargas stayed smart, kept focused and tucked his chin. In the tenth, Wale landed two uppers, and Vargas scored a solid hook...it was another close round. We went to the cards.

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

I was wondering why Arum matched his young prospect so tough during the first few rounds.. we usually don't get too many evenly matched undercard fights... between two rugged undefeated boxers.

Omotosos' fortunes ran out in round 6 after a hard right hand shook the ultra aggressive Nigerian to his core and invoked a strong spririt of self preservation within the heart of the scrappy contender.
Lucky boys aggression was transfered into the need to perform the occasional Riverdance-like shuffle instead.
Vargas began to anticipate the right hand after that and cruised to the victory.
Vargas showed he was more than just a pretty face and Omotoso will surely be called upon again to provide his solid services.
Good preliminary to what would become an extraordinary night of boxing.

the Roast says:

This could have went either way I thought, a draw would have been fine. I'm sure both fighters learned from this and I'd love to see them both again. Good opener.

the Roast says:

This could have went either way I thought, a draw would have been fine. I'm sure both fighters learned from this and I'd love to see them both again. Good opener.

Carmine Cas says:

T'was a good fight to lead to a great fight. The judges got it right with Vargas, after the first few rounds; Vargas established control of the fight and out punched the Nigerian. What Vargas needs to do more in the future is double up that jab, move his head a little more, and keep his head up when he's slipping punches

brownsugar says:

T'was a good fight to lead to a great fight. The judges got it right with Vargas, after the first few rounds; Vargas established control of the fight and out punched the Nigerian. What Vargas needs to do more in the future is double up that jab, move his head a little more, and keep his head up when he's slipping punches


agreed, Vargas needs to get "angry" a little more often. when he decided to assert himself, he showed a lot.

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