Samuel Vargas (31-7-2, 14 KOs) was in a state of shock last Saturday night with his fight against British welterweight Conor Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) abruptly being stoppage in the first round by an arguably trigger-happy referee that pulled the plug on the contest.
Vargas, 31, says he was perfectly fine, and he didn’t have a dazed look of a fighter that needed the bout to be stopped.
The referee Michael Alexander ruined the event by jumping in and halting the bout after Benn had a small handful of punches at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.
Even if Vargas wasn’t going to win the fight, he at least deserved a fighting chance to try and win or go on his shield rather than having the referee stopped the fight at the first hint of trouble.
“I don’t know what to think. There was no fight first of all,” said Samuel Vargas to Sky Sports in reacting to the referee stopping the contest in the first round.
“The ref stopped it in the middle of the action. I was fine; I was moving. Yeah, I don’t even know why I came here to do this. It’s stupid,” said Vargas.
It isn’t good for Vargas because this was his big opportunity to pick up a win over a popular fighter and use the victory to catapult to bigger fighters.
Instead, Vargas had a long flight home to Toronto, Canada, with nothing to show for it. A loss like that could hurt his career.
While some promoters might give Vargas a break and want to use him as an opponent for their fighters, others may see him as unsuitable because of how quickly he was stopped.
“No,” said Vargas when asked if Benn had hurt him. “We were feeling each other out. It was the first, and then the referee just won the fight, I guess.
“I just said we were feeling each other out; there was nothing to worry about,” said Vargas when asked to rate Conor Benn’s power.
In hindsight, Vargas should have known what he was getting himself into coming over to the UK for this fight. He was fighting a guy that is popular with a great future ahead of him in 24-year-old Benn.
Also, many boxing fans believe the UK referees have a reputation for stopping fights quickly, too quickly. These fans call it a “British stoppage” when they see fights waved off in the UK. Surely, Vargas has heard this saying from fans.
“I didn’t even break a sweat; I didn’t even take a shower,” said a fresh-faced Vargas, who didn’t look like he’d been in a fight. I had a little bit of a nose bleed, and that was it.
“I did not shower just now, I didn’t have to shower,” said Vargas.
It’s too bad Vargas can’t get a rematch with Benn in a neutral country like the United States or Mexico. Would a referee stop the fight last Saturday if the match took place in the U.S or the UK? I have doubts.
Look at the referee who worked the first Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight in 2018 in California.
Fury was out cold, and yet the referee still didn’t stop the fight. Would that referee have stopped last Saturday’s Benn vs. Vargas fight in the first round? I don’t think so.