By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - In a battle of undefeated fighters, Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9KOs) appeared to do the better work, but not according to the judges - as all three scored the fight for the local boxer - Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9KOs) - who picks up the IBO/WBA 'regular' junior welterweight titles. The scores were 115-113, 115-113, 117-111. BoxingScene had it 116-112 for Khabib.
It was a tough fight for both, with each of them having their moments in a technical boxing match. Vargas did very well with his uppercuts up the middle, but never followed up after landing them. As the fight entered the second half, Khabib's face was rapidly swelling up, with a cut above the left eye - but he was doing the better work. Vargas would land good punches as the second half played out, but never getting with more than one or at a time, where Khabiv usually got off with a series of shots when he let his hands go.