By Jake Donovan
Rey Vargas and Tomoki Kameda are set to pick up where they left off more than a decade ago.
The former amateur rivals both made weight ahead of their super bantamweight title fight Saturday evening at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
Vargas and Kameda both tipped the scales at 121.4 pounds for the DAZN-streamed headliner.
The bout will mark the fifth defense of the 122-pound title for Mexico's Vargas (33=0, 22KOs), who won the strap in a 12-round decision over Gavin McDonnell in Feb. 2017 on the road in England. In his most recent start, Vargas made his DAZN debut in a lopsided decision win over Colombia's Franklin Manzanilla. The bout was also his first following a lengthy stint on the sidelines while recovering from injury.
He faces a familiar foe in Japan's Kameda (36-2, 22KOs), whom he bested during the 2007 Mexico National Golden Gloves. Both have enjoyed successful pro careers, with Kameda—who relocated to Mexico City at age 15—having reigned as a bantamweight titlist for nearly two years before a pair of losses to Jamie McDonnell—Gavin's twin brother—in 2015. He's managed five straight wins since then, including a 12-round win over Abigail Medina last November to claim a secondary title at super bantamweight.
In the evening's chief support, Diego de la Hoya takes another stab at super bantamweight as he faces California's Ronny Rios.
Both boxers weighed in at 121 pounds for their regional title fight. For de la Hoya (21-0, 10KOs) it's a major accomplishment given his recent history. The unbeaten cousin of Hall of Fame former six-division titlist Oscar de la Hoya badly missed weight for an intended homecoming last November, a development that prompted his team to having him start over as a featherweight.
Even that proved to be a struggle as he showed up a fleshy 127.25 pounds for a featherweight clash versus Enrique Bernache this past April in Monterrey, Mexico. The bout ended inside of two-rounds, a clash of heads forcing a No-Contest to mark his lone ring action since last June.
The rising contender—who turns 25 in August—has since decided to drop back down in weight. His first fight back comes versus Rios (30-3, 14KOs), a former title contender with a chip on his shoulder. His lone bid at a major belt resulted in a 12-round loss to Vargas at this very venue (then the StubHub Center) in Aug. 2017, having since won two of his last three starts.
There is no love lost between the two, as Rios briefly posed for pictures side by side with de la Hoya before storming off the stage in refusal to participate in the obligatory face-off.
Opening the telecast, unbeaten super featherweight contender Eduardo 'Rocky' Hernandez (28-0, 25KOs) faces Roger Gutierrez in a 10-round battle.
Hernandez checked in at 130 pounds on the nose, having to disrobe after initially coming in slightly over the super featherweight limit. Venezuela's Gutierrez (21-3-1, 18KOs) weighed 129.6 pounds.
Rey Vargas, 121.4 lbs. vs. Tomoki Kameda, 121.4 lbs.—12 rds, super bantamweight
Diego De La Hoya, 121 lbs. vs. Ronny Rios, 121 lbs.—12 rds, super bantamweight
Joet Gonzalez, 125.2 lbs. vs. Manuel 'Tino' Avila, 125 lbs.—10 rds, featherweight
Eduardo 'Rocky' Hernandez, 130 lbs. vs. Roger Gutierrez, lbs.—10 rds, super featherweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox