In the opening bout of HBO’s Bradley vs. Provodnikov televised card, welterweights Wale Omotoso (23-1, 19 knockouts) and Jessie Vargas (22-0, 9 knockouts) took to the ring in a bout that would declare the victor as a potential contender. Going into the bout, many felt that Vargas would win the bout handily. This was mostly rooted by the belief that most of Vargas’ wins came against much better competition than those names found in Omotoso’s record. Others however saw Omotoso as being one of the greatest tests in Vargas young career because of the sheer ferocity he presented in his attack. Although this wasn’t enough to stop Omotoso from becoming a 4-1 underdog with some odds-makers it proved to be exactly what kept Omotoso in the fight for the length of the bout.
At the opening bell, it was already obvious that this match-up was going to be much more competitive than many had anticipated. Omotoso came out aggressive as he landed the harder and more significant shots, but just as he was beginning to warm up, Vargas would begin his own wave of momentum which had the two exchanging blows until round’s end. This tendency to trade power shots carried into the second where Omotoso was able to drop Vargas with a body shot. With the early knockdown,a certain sense of ugency gripped both fighters which led them to trade vicious hooks between each other at the center of the ring. Even though Omotoso was absorbing some hellacious shots, it was obvious that he was controlling the pace at which this bout was fought. This patter continued on for rounds 3 and 4, but things would begin to take a much more competitive turn as the bout approached the middle rounds.
As the match continued on to the 5th round, Vargas was finally able to score some damage of his own after managing to stun and badly wobble Omotoso with a beautiful left hook, right cross combination that landed flush. Even though the shots had left Omotoso standing, many scored the bout as a 10-8 for Bradley based on how he was able to smother and brutalize Omotoso in the rounds closing seconds. As the fight progressed, it was Vargas who would go on to dictate the pace at which the bout was contested.It’s this kind of take out, both mental and physically, that would eventually carry Vargas through the fight as a victor in a bout that saw both fighters take hard shots in an effort to land their own.
By the sound of the final bell, fans and media were split as far as who they believed the victory should be awarded to. Although no the draw many had expected, Jessie Vargas was awarded the Unanimous Decision win on scores of (96-93), (96-93), (97-92). With just how close the bout turned out to be there will no doubt be controversy in regards to the scoring, but for now fans can relish in the potential match-ups that will be available to Vargas after such a grueling win. Vargas’ future in the sport still seems to be a hazy and fairly unsure one, but one thing’s for sure, regardless of who his opponent is Vargas will always be the type to put on a show in an effort to score a win.