It was not easy, but it was a victorious night in Frisco, TX for former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs), who used a critical fifth-round knockdown of Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) to turn the tide of Saturday’s main event in his favor. Despite a late charge from Vargas, Garcia took a unanimous decision in this 12-round welterweight attraction.
Vargas was getting the better of Garcia in the early rounds thanks to an effective left hook and good timing, catching his smaller foe quite often. In the fifth round, Garcia’s success with the right hand paid dividends in the form of hurting Jessie before dropping him with a massive punch. Vargas, who’d never been stopped before, survived the knockdown but was clearly not in good shape over the next few rounds.
Garcia’s 1-2 success continued, and he hurt Vargas once again in round seven. Jessie did well to get back into the fight with body shots and generally being more active, but Garcia’s jab and economical punch selection paved the way for him to get the nod on the scorecards. Vargas landed a right hand and left hook to cap off round twelve, but it was too late.
Official result: Mikey Garcia def. Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision (114-113, 116-111, 116-111)
Highlights below, courtesy of DAZN.
Garcia prevails in his first fight since losing to Errol Spence Jr in a lopsided decision last year. He has his sights set on a showdown with Manny Pacquiao in the summer, or a Spence rematch (let’s not do this).