|Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas, former light middleweight champion Fernando Vargas made his return to the ring in the middleweight division against Dutchman Raymond Joval. In a strategic, patient and technical performance, Vargas comprehensively out-boxed his busier rival over the ten round|
distance. Overall, Joval gave a good account of himself with his high work-rate and courage, but it was not enough at the end of the fight. Read on for the SaddoBoxing.com round by round analysis of this exciting middleweight fight.
Round one: Joval looks huge but Vargas is pumped up and ready for the fight. Vargas stays on the outside from the onset. Vargas lands a good left hook. Both fighters jab well to the body and Vargas receives a good deal of pressure from Joval, whose work ethic is good even if his accuracy is not. Vargas' jab is spot on as he moves around in a controlled fashion and boxes well, stealing the round with the more eye-catching punches landed.
Round two: Vargas lands a solid left-right combination. Joval is looking for the right uppercut but Vargas' jab stops him for the majority of the round. Vargas is far more accurate on the inside. Vargas land s agreat right hand and it is obvious now that Joval's hands are far too slow to compete with Vargas. Vargas is mainly looking for counter-punching opportunities on the outside. A good left hook from Vargas stuns Joval and Vargas goes in for an extended attack but not a full-blown assault, showing patience and maturity. Vargas has his early breakthrough.
Round three: Joval succeeds in the early part of the round until they come together and trade in an exciting exchange. Vargas land a solid right hand followed by an uppercut. Vargas switches his attack effectively to the body. Joval lands a good right hand. Vargas backs up and seems to allow Joval to get some shots off while he tucks his chin in for protection. Vargas can see Joval's punches coming a mile away. Vargas slips some shots and does not look hurt by anything Joval throws.
Round four: Vargas starts off with a good right hand. Vargas land a left hook and Joval answers with a solid right, backing Vargas to the ropes again. Vargas jabs, Joval lands the right uppercut. Joval succeeds in landing a right hand and it is obvious in this round that he is outworking Vargas. Joval looks in much worse shape facially but may be stealing this round thanks to his greater punch output. Vargas' waiting for counter-shots could be hurting him on the scorecards.
Round five: Joval is exerting a lot of ineffective pressure while Vargas tries again to box and move. Joval gets in with a right-left combination. There is some good trading in the middle part of the round and Vargas lands the harder shots. It is a clean fight and very entertaining so far and Joval is working well and could have won two of the last five rounds.
Round six: Both fighters work the body, banging away with hooks and uppercuts. Joval lands the right uppercut again and Vargas retreats, not landing much at all. Joval appears to slip but a Vargas body shot is present and the point is much debated between the commentary team. For the record, no knockdown is signaled by the referee. Vargas has a good rally towards the end of the round. Vargas chooses to work less, not engaging Joval, but the Dutchman's pressure could pay dividends if he keeps it up.
Round seven: Joval still working and extering some good pressure although he cannot seem to hurt Vargas. Vargas dances on the outside. Joval goes to work with a right hand and some good body shots. Joval starts hooking and uppercutting inside. Joval remains busy and the way Vargas' approach appears, it looks like he is content to get the rounds in.
Round eight: Vargas starts off with a right hand, Joval land sa left and Vargas returns with a left of his own. Vargas goes back to the jab and Joval is cut. Vargas becoems more aggressive and really starts going for Joval. Vargas lands a succession of right hands that have Joval in retreat. Joval really suffers a beating in this round as Vargas is his most aggressive in the fight thus far.
Round nine: It is an even round until Joval hits Vargas low; the referee does not call it and Joval rightfully goes to work on a hurt Vargas, landing several unanswered shots. Vargas comes back strong and looking like the old fires are lit and he wants to knock Joval out. However, Vargas soon goes back to his boxing.
Round ten: The both close the show by throwing a lot of punches but again, little effective work gets through on either side. Vargas lands a good left inside but Joval is still throwing a lot of punches. A Vargas right hand lands well before a big trade at the end finishes the round in style.
Final scores are 98-92, 96-94 and 97-93 for the winner by unanimous decision, "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas.
Jim Cawkwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org