Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas(23-0-1, 17 KOs) was crowned the new WBC Super Featherweight World Champion, retaining his undefeated status after securing a technical knockout in the ninth-round over Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22 KOs).
“I’m the champ, I’m the champ!” said Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas. “This is a dream come true for me, something I have been fighting for my whole life. I knew Takashi was going to be a tough opponent, that’s why he is the champion, so I had to make sure I was prepared to face a fighter like him. I feel that my preparation paid off for this fight. I knew I had to be very aggressive, and I showed that in the first round so he knew that I would not be bullied. When I was knocked down in the fourth round, I felt even more motivated to win this fight. I made sure to fight the way I wanted, how I wanted and my style and now I’m the champion of the world! I hope all the fans enjoyed themselves tonight with my performance.”
Former WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) made his return to the ring for the first time after signing with Roc Nation Sports and secured the win against Drian Francisco (28-4-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight fight.
“I feel terrific after the fight,” said Guillermo Rigondeaux. “He threw heavy but his style has nothing on mine. My style outmatched his. It’s been 11 months since I’ve been in the ring and I definitely felt some cobwebs but I d like to see some other fighters be out 11 months and come back with a win. I definitely wanted to give the fans a better fight so I need to get back in to the gym, get more active to give a better performance. I promise that with the tools I have now after signing with Roc Nation that next time I’ll be explosive. Thank you to my team for helping me get this win.”
“Rigondeaux is not a fighter, he is a runner,” said Drian Francisco. “He is afraid of getting hurt and doesn’t want to fight. I felt pressured into being the aggressor during this fight because he wasn’t fighting, he was running away. He is not a power puncher and won by points. I trained really hard for this fight and I feel like it was a waste of time because I didn’t encounter a fighter tonight.”
Opening up the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast, Santa Ana, California’s Ronny Rios (25-1, 10 KOs) battled Jayson “Star” Velez (23-1-1, 16 KOs) of Junco, Puerto Rico for a hard-fought victory after 10-rounds to secure the WBC Silver Featherweight Title.
“I felt like I dictated the pace of the fight, and I felt like I was landing more power punches than him,” said Ronny Rios. “He did throw a few body shots at me that hurt but they weren’t significant enough for me to stop pressuring him and doing what I needed to do to secure this victory. He actually surprised me; I thought he was going to use the jab all night but he was definitely getting in the inside. This is a really big victory for me. I have a belt now, and I know that bigger things will come my way because of it.”
“I was expecting that to be a tough fight, but I did my job,” said Jayson “Star” Velez. “He had some good rounds, I had some good rounds. I think the deduction is what really got me. I did my job tonight but he was better at his job tonight.”
In preliminary undercard action, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado (12-0, 9 KOs) faced Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (8-5-2, 6 KOs) of Long Branch, NJ in a six-round lightweight bout. Machado used his power to get a first-round knockdown
Puerto Rican favorite Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (16-0, 11 KOs) held on to his undefeated status with a unanimous decision win over Oscar Mojica (8-1, 1 KO) of Dallas, TX in a six-round junior bantamweight fight.
“I’m proud of my team and myself,” said Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez.”I want to thank God and my family. This was a very tough fight, but I am just going to keep working to achieve more wins.”
Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (6-0, 3 KOs) of Zhengzhou, China, a Silver Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, took on Juan Goode (6-3, 5 KOs) of Taylor, MI in a four-round heavyweight bout. Zhilei, an imposing figure, quickly took control of the ring and dominated the first two rounds. The taller Zhang came out landing hard straight left hands to the head of Juan Goode early on. Utilizing his superior height and reach, Zhang was able to effectively smother Goode’s attack for most of the fight until the final round. Goode was able to land a hard right hand in the fourth, which dropped Zhang, but Zhang rose to meet the count and managed to hold on to win a unanimous decision.
“I feel very good that I am still undefeated,” said Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei. “I was careless during that knock down. I am going to keep fighting until I am a world champion.”
Opening up the card, San Antonio up-and-coming prospect Hector “El Finito” Tanajara (4-0, 3 KOs) took on Uruapan, Baja California, Mexico’s Jose Fabian Naranjo (3-2-1, 1 KO) in a four-round lightweight bout. Tanajara quickly dominated the pace of the fight with his aggressive attacks on Najaro and won the fight via first round knockout when Najaro couldn’t make the count.
“I am happy that I got to fight on the undercard of Cotto-Canelo, one of the biggest fights of the year,” said Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. “Because of this I knew I had to train for this fight and make sure I looked good in ring and today I accomplished it. This is a win for Mexico and I hope I started the trend tonight, victories for Mexico, go Canelo.”
Fans in the Mandalay Bay Events Center were also treated to a special performance by Latin Grammy nominee Yandel prior to the main event, which also aired on the HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast. Las Vegas’s own DJ Franzen kept the raucous crowd entertained in between rounds spinning hits from the DJ booth.
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez UD 12 Miguel Cotto
Francisco Vargas TKO 9 Takashi Miura
Guillermo Rigondeaux UD 10 Drian Francisco
Ronny Rios UD 10 Jayson Velez
Alberto Machado TKO 1 Tyrone Luckey
Jose Martinez UD 8 Oscar Mojica
Zhang Zhilei UD 4 Juan Goode
Hector Tanajara Jr. KO 1 Jose Naranjo