By Rick Reeno
Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas - In a battle of undefeated boxers, Jessie Vargas (25-0, 9KOs) kept his unbeaten streak going with a twelve round unanimous decision win over Anton Novikov (29-1, 10KOs) to retain the WBA "regular' junior welterweight championship. 118-111, 118-111, 117-111. Most at ringside felt the fight was a lot closer.
In the first four rounds, Vargas was outworking and outboxing the staking challenger. Novikv was trying to walk Vargas down, but missing with most of his punches and getting tagged often for his trouble. Vargas used his legs, moved around, but slugged when needed.
Novikov was stunned during the fifth and fought his way out of trouble. He started getting to Vargas in the sixth, landing hard, straight punches to the head. He continued to find success in the seventh, with Vargas coming back in the eight and ninth as Novikov's workrate declined.
Novikov picked things up in the tenth, landing hard punches to Vargas' head and body, and he continued the trend in the eleventh. Vargas closed better as his outworked Novikov by being more consistent.