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Rey Vargas vs. Gavin McDonnell – Results

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By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten #1 WBC Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) took #2 WBC Gavin McDonnell (16-1-2, 4 KOs) to school in beating him by a 12 round majority decision on Saturday night to win the vacant World Boxing Council super bantamweight title at the Ice Arena in Hull, UK. The judges scored the fight 114-114 117-111 and 116-112. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 12 rounds to 0 in favor of Vargas. He totally dominated the 30-year-old McDonnell.

Vargas had too much speed for McDonnell. Vargas was constantly moving, hitting and getting out of the way of McDonnell’s shots.

In the 2nd half of the fight, McDonnell started to apply a lot of pressure on Vargas, but it wasn’t smart pressure. McDonnell was just throwing a lot of shots, missing most of them, and only occasionally landing his punches. The pro-McDonnell crowd was cheering everything he did, and that might have made the one referee that scored it a draw think the fight was closer than it actually was. Vargas looked like the better fighter by far.

The referee was very lenient with McDonnell in letting him get away with grabbing Vargas behind the neck and pulling him forwards repeatedly while punching him to the head and body. What was interesting is how Vargas was receiving warnings from the referee for hitting McDonnell low while he was being pulled down. Instead of the referee warning McDonnell for yanking him down and hitting him, the referee warned Vargas. It looked really bad.

In round 7, McDonnell suffered a bloody nose after getting hit with a monstrous right uppercut from Vargas. McDonnell took the shot well, but he got hit a lot in that round. That was the most one-sided round of the fight.

Vargas continued to tee off on McDonnell in the 8th round in landing some beautiful combinations to the head. Vargas would land vast shots while McDonnell was coming forward, and he would then move to the left or right to escape his pressure. When the two fighters would come close, McDonnell would grab Vargas from behind his head and pull him forward while punching him. It was really dirty by McDonnell, but the referee didn’t do anything about it to stop him from fouling, so he continued whenever Vargas got close to him.

“His arms were a bit too long,” said McDonnell after the fight in complaining about Vargas’ reach. “Those long arms were key. I couldn’t get that close. I showed I belonged in there. I just need to tweak things. I have no doubt I’ll be a world champion,” said McDonnell.

McDonnell was just too slow tonight for him to have had a chance of beating Vargas.

I don’t know if McDonnell is going to be a world champion like he says. He’s 30 now, and he sure as heck isn’t ever going to be a talent like Vargas. McDonnell definitely won’t beat WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux either. Further, I wouldn’t favor McDonnell to beat WBO champion Jessie Magdaleno.

The only guy that I could see McDonnell possibly beating to become a world champion is IBF champion Yukinori Oguni. That’s a winnable fight for him. However, McDonnell isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the International Boxing Federation’s rankings right now. Unless Hearn can work a deal to get McDonnell a title shot, I can’t see him getting a shot at that time.




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