There were two upsets on HBO’s Boxing after Dark; one was Humberto Soto’s stunning upset victory over former unbeaten 2000 Olympian Rocky Juarez, and the other was Vargas’s less than spectacular W over fight veteran Javier Castillejo that had the crowd wanting the old Vargas back in action. But one thing for sure the Chicago fans received a much better helping of boxing than what was witnessed last week in the Rahman-Barrett match-up, man the fans should be happy now. For starters we must ask that burning question that is now implanted in the fans minds…
Humberto Soto, 37-5-2 (21), is his name and his fight plan for the night was to offer up a buffet of all you can eat leather and he gave Rocky Juarez, 23-1 (16), twelve servings worth when the two battled it out for the WBC Interim featherweight title, man what an upset.
Stepping in on a two weeks notice for the injured WBC featherweight champion Injin Chi, Soto was basically looked at as nothing more than an easy victory with an impressive record on the resume of Juarez who was ready to face Chi after this projected victory. Wrong! Rocky, who is known for his overwhelming power, came into this bout with his last two fights ending in fast KO’s, but Soto and the gang had something more in store for the youngster.
Soto came out jabbing and backing up Juarez, dictating the fight with his boxing skill beating Rocky to the punch. Many believed that when the hard hitting Texan landed his whopping left hook it would be lights out for Soto, but Humberto took Rocky's best and dished out some punishment of him own. The early rounds no doubt belonged to the much busier Soto and in round six with a glancing left hand Soto produced a small cut under Juarez’s right eye. For most of the bout the fight fans witnessed the schooling of Juarez from the forty-five bout veteran but the best round for the twenty-five year old Houston native was in round seven when Rocky was able to rock Soto with a signature left hook but Soto kept his head and held on to survive the round.
After two points being deducted from Soto for rabbit punching in rounds nine and ten and Rocky coming alive and landing a slew of left hooks in eleven the judges saw the bout 114-113, 114-112 and 114-113 in favor of Humberto Soto, yes the unknown Soto sent Juarez packing back to Texas with a UD loss in his suitcase.
Now to the main event, you have the hard hitting, always entertaining pride of Oxnard rolling into town to deliver a not so ferocious show for the fans; hey, where’s the ferocious one? Well, Vargas the boxer did well on paper but Vargas the entertainer didn’t deliver, but he did win.
Fernando Vargas, 26-2 (22), came out passive against the Spanish slugger Javier Castillejo,
58-6 (39), in the opening round that was slow as can be with the two sizing one another up. For two rounds the booing crowd witnessed no aggression until the third rolled around and near the end Vargas landing a solid right hand that sent Castillejo crouching that set up two ferocious left hooks to put him on the canvas.
The fight continued on with Castillejo being the aggressor throwing more shots but Vargas doing enough to win the rounds. For most of the night Vargas was being backed up by the fight veteran but was able to land right hand after right hand on his moving target. The fight was more or less lackadaisical, with sporadic spurts from the un-ferocious Fernando Vargas, but in the end his sudden outbursts was enough to win over the judges by scores of 97-92, 97-92 and 98-91 which gave the twenty-five year old ex-champion the unanimous decision.
Vargas, who is or shall I say was known for his all out brawls and is never usually at a loss for words, didn’t seemed too thrilled with his victory, and with a possible broken jaw that was continuously swelling during the post interview he had this to say about his performance, “I give my performance an F, he came to fight.” To counter the crowds jeering and boos for his new style of boxing Vargas explained, “They wanted me to go to war and I am not about to do that.” With his well earned victory Vargas seemed dissatisfied even this could lead up to a major money bout with a rematch again Oscar De La Hoya.
What does the future hold for Vargas? For the fans at least, hopefully a return to his former aggressive style.
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