Josue Vargas improved to 18-1 (9 KO) with a wide decision win tonight over Kendo Castaneda, capping the prelim portion of teh Lomachenko-Lopez undercard fights from Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old Vargas, a Puerto Rican prospect at 140, won on scores of 98-91, 99-90, and 100-89, dropping the always-game Castaneda (17-3, 8 KO) early in the second round.
He wasn’t able to finish the 26-year-old Texan, but he had a complete, solid performance. Castaneda, who dropped his third straight fight, all in 2020, was tough and came to fight as always, and has established himself as a solid young gatekeeper, and there’s a career in that, even if it might be a disappointment to him after starting his career 17-0. He had some good moments here, gave Vargas a full 10 rounds, and landed some decent shots, but the win clearly belonged to Vargas.
“He was a tough customer, tougher than I thought he was gonna be. But my father told me to stay composed, stay calm. You dropped him but don’t rush anything. That’s how I got disqualified when I was 18, I rushed it,” Vargas said.
He wasn’t 100 percent happy with his performance, and admitted there’s still work to do, telling Bernardo Osuna, “I think I got hit with too many unnecessary shots. There’s things I’ve got to work on to reach the top and get to the next level for the world championships.”
Asked how close he thinks he is to going in against the top names at 140, Vargas wasn’t cocky, but feels he’s just about there.
“I think I beat (Castaneda) worse than (Jose) Zepeda did,” he said. “At one point I thought I was going to stop him, because when I hit him with clean shots, he would back up like he wanted to quit. I’m getting ready to fight these guys — Zepeda, (Jose) Pedraza, I’d get in there with any of them.”
More Prelim Results
- Jose Enrique Vivas TKO-1 John Vincent Moralde: Vivas (20-1, 11 KO) only has the one loss, and it came to Ruben Villa about 13 months ago on ShoBox, and we’ve gotten some better evidence about how good Villa is, which is to say very good. So that loss might age really well for the 26-year-old Vivas, who has now won three straighta nd two in a row on Top Rank Bubble cards. Neither was an upper-tier win or anything, and Moralde (23-4, 13 KO) has been stopped before, but Vivas just wasted him in 76 seconds, dropping him twice before referee Celestino Ruiz had seen enough, and Ruiz made a good call. Moralde seemed to be getting hurt on basically every shot and wasn’t doing much but eating punches to both the body and head.
- Quinton Randall UD-6 Jan Carlos Rivera: Well-matched welterweight fight here. The 30-year-old Randall was once a standout American amateur, but wound up doing some time in prison before turning pro in 2019, and he’s now 7-0 (2 KO). He probably doesn’t have upper level potential given age and all, but he can absolutely still box, and he earned the win here on scores of 58-56, 58-56, and 59-55, handing Rivera (4-1, 4 KO) his first pro loss. It was competitive, and Rivera had some nice moments in the first couple rounds, but Randall was able to take over and take the W.
- Jahi Tucker UD-4 Charles Garner: Tucker’s a 17-year-old welterweight who made his pro debut on Sept. 19, and got right back in here a month later to go to 2-0 (1 KO). Judges had this a clean sweep, 40-36 on all three cards, but I really think it could’ve been scored even, two rounds apiece. That’s not a criticism of Tucker or his potential, either. He’s extremely young, raw, energetic, and a little green still. The 26-year-old Garner (1-1, 0 KO) did some decent work in spots. Tucker winning isn’t an outrage at all, but two of those rounds definitely could’ve shaded Garner’s way, and he seems to have a little potential, too, at least to develop into a decent gatekeeper sort.