Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera – Results
By Tim Royner: Coming off a long 13-month layoff, former WBO 147lb. champion Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) beat journeyman Aaron Herrera (33-8-1, 22 KOs) by a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California. The fight was televised on Premier Boxing Champions on FS1.
(Photo credit: Peter Young/Premier Boxing Champions)
Vargas, 28, knocked Herrera down with a combination to the head in round 6. Aside from that, there wasn’t much drama in the fight. Vargas fought like he was taking it easy on the journeyman Herrera. It looked like Vargas carried Herrera just like Floyd Mayweather Jr. admitted to carrying Conor McGregor.
The only difference is Vargas carried Herrera for the entire 10 round fight. Other than the 6th, Vargas never really attempted to press the issue to get Herrera out of there. For boxing fans that saw Vargas at his best in his fight with Sadam Ali last year, he fought nothing like that tonight. Vargas looked slower in terms of hand speed, and much less aggressive.
Herrera was coming forward all night long, but he wasn’t throwing punches. He was just moving forward and taking shots from Vargas. When Herrera did throw shots, they would often come up short of the target. Herrera looked like he was short-arming his shots on purpose. That’s what it looked like. Vargas was fighting somewhat hard at times, but mostly he treated the fight like a sparring session in which he takes it easy on his opponent.
”I felt the ring rust, to be honest,” said Vargas after the fight. ”Any of them; Keith Thurman, Errol Spence,” said Vargas when asked who he wants to fight next. ”I’m looking forward to the winner [of Spence vs. Lamont Peterson]. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia,” said Vargas.
It might not be wise for Vargas to fight any of those guys at this stage of his comeback. Those guys are fighting at a high level and looking good. Vargas did not look nearly sharp enough to take on those fighters. If Vargas is going to fight guys like that, then he should wait until he’s got some fights under his belt to get the ring rust off.
Vargas does not look like he’s even close to being at the same level he was at 13 months ago in his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2016. Vargas wasn’t good in that fight either, but he was world’s better than he was tonight. Vargas needs to make improvements in his game before he takes on any of the big names in the welterweight division because the way he fought tonight, he would have lost to a lot of the top fighters in the division. I wouldn’t have necessarily taken the likes of Thurman and Spence to beat him.
In other boxing results on the card, welterweight Jamal James (22-1, 10 KOs) pulled of a big upset in stopping Diego Chaves (26-3-1, 22 KOs) in the 3rd round. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:12 of round 3.
Chaves made the mistake of going to the ropes and covering up in the 3rd round. Jamal than nailed Chaves with 4 consecutive right hands to the head, and then followed those shots with a left to the body that sent him down on the canvas. Chaves was too hurt to get back to his feet. Chaves had controlled the first 2 rounds of the fight, but the 3rd, he lost his head by making a rookie mistake by backing up to the ropes. It’s unclear why Chaves did that. He was getting the better of the lanky 6’2” James. Coming into the fight, James had been beaten last year by Yordenis Ugas by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision. Ugas fought a smart fight by keeping the action in the center of the ring, and taking advantage of James’ limited boxing skills and power. Chaves didn’t do that tonight. He gave James a huge break by going to the ropes and letting him tee off like he was fighting a sparring partner. The 31-year-old Chaves suffered his third defeat of his career. He’d previously been beaten by Brandon Rios by a controversial 9th round disqualification and Keith Thurman by a 10th round knockout. Thurman knocked Chaves out with a body shot. James must have studied the tape of the Chaves vs. Thurman fight because he knew to go to the body of Chaves.
Light welterweight John Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs) picked up an increasingly rare win for him in stopping the 31-year-old Ivan Redkach (20-4-1, 16 KOs) in the 4h round of a scheduled 10 round fight. Molina Jr. came into the fight having lost 3 out of his last 6 fights. For a while there, it looked like Molina Jr. was going to lose this fight too, as he was knocked down by Redkach in round 2. Molina Jr. got up off the canvas and returned the favor in knocking down Redkach in round 3. In the 4th, Molina Jr. caught Redkach against the ropes and nailed him with a 3-punch combination to put him down on the canvas. The fight was then halted by referee Edward Hernandez. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:27 of round 4.
In the first fight of the televised card, junior middleweight contender Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KOs) battled hard to defeat high level journeyman over Freddy Hernandez (34-9, 22 KOs) by a hard fought 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 100-90, 970\-93, and 96-94.