Vargas edges Allakhverdiev for light welter title
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jessie Vargas claimed the WBA light welterweight title with a narrow unanimous decision over Khabib Allakhverdiev on Saturday on the undercard of Manny Pacqcuiao’s rematch with Timothy Bradley.
Ray Beltran easily outpointed Arash Usmanee in a lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden, while Bryan Vasquez edged Jose Felix in a super featherweight fight.
In a meeting of previously unbeaten fighters, Vargas (24-0) squeaked out a decision in a tough technical fight in his hometown, beating his Russian opponent by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 115-113.
Allakhverdiev (19-1) appeared to control the early rounds, but took significant damage to both eyes during the fight. With his right eye swollen and a serious cut on his left eye from an accidental head-butt in the eighth round, Allakhverdiev allowed Vargas back into the bout before dominating the 12th, but not doing enough to win.
“I want a rematch, and I want it right away,” said Allakhverdiev, who won the belt in November 2012 and defended it last year in Monte Carlo. “I won that fight.”
The durable, crowd-pleasing Beltran (29-6-1) easily outclassed his Canadian opponent to improve to 4-0-1 in his last five bouts. He still got a game challenge from Usmanee (20-2-1), a late replacement for Rocky Martinez after the ex-champion pulled out of the bout several days ago with an illness.
“This was one of my greatest fights ever,” Beltran said. “A change of opponents and an awkward opponent, but my hook and my body shots were the difference.”
Costa Rica’s Vasquez looked solid in his U.S. debut, narrowly outpointing Felix in a foul-filled bout. Felix (26-1-1) lost a point for low blows in the ninth round, and it turned the fight from a majority draw into a unanimous decision for Vasquez (34-1).