Mexico’s Rey Vargas successfully defended his WBC super bantamweight crown on Saturday, defeating Japan’s Tomoki Kameda by unanimous decision.
The unbeaten Vargas, 28, used his superior reach and height to control an attritional open-air battle at the Dignity Health Park in Carson, suburban Los Angeles.
All three judges scored it 117-110 in favour of Vargas.
It was a fifth successful defence of the title by Vargas, who has held the belt since defeating Gavin McDonnell in February 2017.
Vargas improved to 34-0 with 22 knockouts following the victory. Kameda, fighting out of Osaka, fell to 36-3 with the defeat.
“The idea was to throw a lot of punches and fight an intelligent fight,” said Vargas. “I believe we fought a smart fight. He’s a very experienced fight, we always knew he was going to push us.”
It was a disappointing loss for Kameda, who started aggressively before tiring in the later rounds.
The Japanese challenger landed the cleaner shots early on, rocking Vargas with a crisp overhand right in the first round.
Kameda again connected with the right in the second and third rounds but Vargas did just enough to score consistently through his hand speed and combinations.
Kameda rallied in the closing rounds, landing a straight right on Vargas in the 10th round.
But Vargas displayed deft footwork to keep Kameda at bay, darting in and out of range and using an accurate jab to control the tempo in the closing stages.
Yet Vargas was given a scare in the 12th round when Kameda rocked him with a stiff right as the two fighters separated from a clinch.
Vargas looked unsteady on his legs as the fight resumed after Kameda was deducted a point but regained his composure to close out the win.
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