Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 9/14/12
LAS VEGAS—Though he owns a contested decision over Josesito Lopez, Jessie Vargas was the one fighting on a smaller ESPN2 show Thursday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino while Lopez gets ready to fight box-office star Saul Alvarez at the MGM Grand in a major card on Showtime this coming Saturday.

Though his payday is a fraction of what Lopez will make, the Las Vegas product Vargas (20-0, 9 KOs) took care of business in his Top Rank debut as he outhustled an up to the task Aron Martinez (18-2-1, 4 KOs) of East Los Angeles en route to a unanimous decision.

There were lulls in action, but as well there was some terrific infighting throughout. The bout also featured more than its fair share of fouls and referee Jay Nady didn't do his best job in keeping things in control, warning both fighters a number of times without ever taking a point.

When the action picked up, the crowd got into the fight, spurning on Vargas to throw a high volume in close. Martinez did his part in almost always firing back, even landing his fair share in return.

Still, Martinez wasn't winning rounds, and by the time Vargas slowed the way he did against Lopez last September, the fight was nearly over and Martinez couldn't fully capitalize, though he enjoyed his best work in the fight's 9th and 10th rounds.

Vargas showed again where his biggest weaknesses lie: his lack of punching power and questionable stamina down the stretch reared its head, though the level of opponent wasn't strong enough to provide a big enough scare. Scores read 99-91, 98-92, and a bit too close 96-94 all in favor of Vargas.

In a closely contested junior lightweight co-feature, unbeaten but unheralded Jose Felix Jr. (21-0-1, 17 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mex. scored an upset over Luis Cruz (20-2, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico, earning a unanimous decision in a fight that could have gone either way.

Felix started out strong, rocking back Cruz a number of times over the first few rounds to build an early lead. Cruz seemingly got back into the fight in round four when he dropped an off-balance Felix with a nicely placed counter shot.

From that point, the fight was nip and tuck with Felix beginning to utilize his movement against Cruz, who had a hard time cutting off the ring and timing him. Both guys did their best work when they countered the other guy, and many in press row were surprised at Felix winning unanimously as it felt like a very close fight ringside.

The scores were 96-94 twice and 97-92 in favor of Felix. Cruz drops his second straight decision and it wouldn't be surprising to see Felix get a Diego Magdaleno fight before the end of the year.

Fan favorite super heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. of Mexicali, Mexico (16-0, 10 KOs) made quick work of Houston's Maurenzo Smith (10-3-2, 7 KOs), disposing of him in one round. Ruiz, despite his lackluster fitness, has fast hands for a heavyweight. He worked at a slow pace to start but eventually put Smith on his back with a left to the body/right up top combination. Referee Kenny Bayless counted Smith out at 2:11 of the round.

Omaha, Neb. lightweight Terence Crawford opened the night up with an excellent display of boxing, admittedly against a lower-tiered opponent in Hardy Paredes of Osomo, Chile, ultimately stopping him in the 4th round of a scheduled eight with a left hook to the body at the 40 second mark.

Crawford (18-0, 14 KOs) boxed really sharply, not wasting any shots as he dropped Paredes near the end of the 2nd round with a double left hook to the body. Crawford couldn't miss throughout as he broke Paredes (15-11, 9 KOs) opponent down before the last body shot was met by a chorus of boos, the crowd wondering if the fight had left Paredes more than anything. Joe Cortez definitely thought so, stopping the fight without a count.

Canadian junior middleweight prospect Mikael Zewski (16-0, 12 KOs) needed just three minutes to barrel through Xavier Tolliver (23-9, 15 KOs) of Atlanta, Ga., battering him until the final bell of the opening round, after which referee Jay Nady had seen enough to signal the fight over. Zewski did a good job of trapping his experienced opponent in the corner, especially in the final seconds where he landed some devastating combinations.

Popular ticket seller Jesus Gutierrez (6-0, 2 KOs), a lightweight out of Las Vegas, earned a unanimous decision over Chico, Calif.'s Joaquin Chavez (1-3-2, KO), much to the delight of the crowd.

Among those in attendance at the Hard Rock were Top Rank's Bob Arum, boxers Miguel Cotto, Mike McCallum, Paulie Ayala and Joel Casamayor, as well as a high number of other reputable names in the sport. Though the fight was a couple of days before either “Big One,” it drew quite a cast of characters.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Mike Carey not heard from again after being wrong earlier

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller forces Cam Newton fumble to secure Super Bowl win

With cryptic tweet, did Marshawn Lynch just hang up his cleats?

NFL shows off every Super Bowl MVP in history

Jordan Norwood breaks off longest punt return in Super Bowl history

Beer company trolls Seth Rogan after Super Bowl commercial

Levi's Stadium's field problems continue in Super Bowl

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

Aqib Talib commits three awful penatlies in first half of SB

WATCH: Broncos score TD after Von Millers sacks Cam Newton

WATCH: Luke Kuechly sacks Peyton Manning

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker