By Marc Livitz: Jesse Vargas of Las Vegas fought his way to a unanimous decision victory over Wale Omotoso at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Saturday. The two undefeated welterweight fighters battled in a tight contest for the WBC Continental Americas title.
The fight didn’t open as a slugfest as Omotoso (23(19)-1) may have wished in regard to his ten pound weight advantage he carried when the opening bell sounded (Wale weighed in at 164 while his Las Vegas opponent registered at 154). Vargas (22(9)-0) used measured jabs, while Omotoso seemed to wait for the chance to land a decisive shot.
Jesse tried to use the ring a bit more in the second until Omotoso moved to bring the action in closer and sent Vargas to the canvas for the first time in his young career about two minutes into the round. A right to the body from Wale appeared to be the culprit until replays confirmed that Jesse was just caught off balance. Nevertheless, Omotoso seemed to be in the lead, albeit a small one after two. The strong rights of the Nigerian fighter opened a cut over the Vegas native’s left eye sometime in the third.
Vargas tried to reestablish his jab in the fourth but had trouble breaking through Omotoso’s tight guard. He landed the occasional one-two combination. He was being somewhat forced to change his fighting style all together from this point onward. Vargas caught his foe with a strong right midway into the fifth and followed it up with another which almost sent his Nigerian foe to the mat. The onslaught continued and Wale wasn’t the same "fire at will" combatant as previously seen.
Vargas pushed and pushed. Omotoso’s shots now lacked any significant power and so he did the smart thing. He leaned into Jesse and slowed down the action. Each fighter boxed considerably more in the sixth and neither fighter showed much aggression. Much of the same in round seven, although Jesse Vargas attempted to neutralize Wale Omotoso’s right with a consistent left jab, which he "doubled up" at times in the round.
Vargas landed a few hard rights in the eighth. Each fighter was exchanging words between them and Omotoso closed the period with an effective right-left combination. Jesse continued to use his jab in round nine, yet it did open him up to counters at times form Wale. The fight was indeed close at this point and the tenth and final round may have held the trump card for each boxer. Omotoso landed a solid right to open the tenth. He scored with a right uppercut with a minute to go as well. Vargas still looked to land the left jab and hope for a counter right.
The bell sounded and the decision was left to the three ringside officials.Two judges each scored the bout 96-93, while the third saw it at 97-92. The unanimous decision, although a bit questionable went to Jesse Vargas, who remains undefeated.
March 16, 2013