Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) overcame Sadam Ali (22-1, 13 KOs), stopping the 2008 US Olympian in the ninth round of their contest and claiming the vacant WBO welterweight title at the DC Armory in Washington D.C.
The opening round was offered very little with both fighters opting to feel the other out. Ali was first to let his hands fly and Vargas quickly followed suit.
In the second stanza, we saw an increase in activity and the third was a similar affair with both fighters landing good, clean punches.
Ali found his rhythm in the fourth and caught Vargas with some hard shots, leaving him hurt as the bell rang at the end of the round.
In the fifth, Vargas returned the favour, rocking Ali with a nice body shot.
The next few rounds were fairly even, Vargas got the upper hand on occasion but Ali more than held his own.
In the eighth Ali once again looked in control until he was caught with a hard right, sending him crashing to the canvas. Ali made it to his feet and survived what remained of the round.
Vargas came out swinging in the ninth, looking to finish off his opponent. Ali attempted to tie up and recompose but was unable to avoid Vargas’ barrage and found himself on the canvas once again. To his credit, Ali rose to his feet but was once again unable to escape Vargas’ mean right hand, leaving him in all kinds of trouble and forcing referee, Kenny Chevalier, to wave the fight off.
“This is what I’ve been working for all my life since I was eight years old,” exclaimed a jubilant Vargas.
Ali, gracious in defeat, said “Before the fight I felt really strong, I felt very confident and sometimes that just isn’t enough. I need to go back to the drawing board and make sure to correct the mistakes that I made in the ring tonight. I’m going to come back better than ever.”