Ice Arena, Hull - In a battle of undefeated contenders, Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) won a twelve round majority decision over Gavin McDonnell (16-1-2, 4 KOs) to capture the vacant WBC super bantamweight world title. The scores were 114-114, 117-111, 116-112.
Vargas is trained by Hall of Fame coach Nacho Beristain, while McDonnell has rising UK trainer David Coldwell at his side.
Vargas came out on the front foot, coming forward and throwing some big swings to push the pace. He was backing McDonnell up and controlling the distance. Vargas was switching up his punches by digging often to the body to slow McDonnell's movement down.
Vargas started off round two with a quick jab. The long jab was setting up on the punches that were landing on McDonnell, who was doing his best to land counters when the openings were there.
Some very damaging shots the body were landing for Vargas at the start of the third. Vargas continued to set things up with the long jab. McDonnell was having trouble finding his range to land punches. Vargas was back with the jab in the fourth. McDonnell was applying a lot of pressure and using very good movement, but still getting caught with shots.
McDonnell was having his best round in the fifth, as he started to land punches to the head and body. The crowd was going wild with each punch that McDonnell was landing. Vargas was still landing his punches, but not as many as before. It was give and take in the sixth round. Vargas was landing the harder and more eye catching punches.
Vargas continued to tag McDonnell to the head and body when the British man would attempt to work his way in. Some stinging shots were landing to the head and body of McDonnell. The bridge of McDonnell's nose started bleeding from a cut. McDonnell was trying to rough Vargas up in the eight. The Mexican puncher was still using his distance, avoiding the ropes and timing McDonnell when he walked in.
McDonnell continued to apply the pressure in the ninth and was really trying to change the tide. Vargas stuck to his jab and was carefully picking his shots. Mcdonnell's chin was on full display in this fight as he took plenty of flush shots. There was a lot of work being done by McDonnell at the start of the tenth, as he was applying the pressure and letting his hands go. Vargas stayed on the back foot, moving away and looking to land counters. McDonnell was landed several good shots during exchanges.
A big right landed for McDonnell at the start of the eleventh. Vargas seemed to be coasting as McDonnell was applying the pressure and looking to land big shots. Vargas was using the jab and landing some punches when McDonnell would trade, but the British fighter was really trying to pour things on. McDonnell was going for broke in the twelfth. taking the fight to Vargas and looking for a knockout. Vargas was outlanding McDonnell as they were trading shots against the ropes and down the stretch.