Slick Mexican, Rey Vargas, overcame Gavin McDonnell to claim the WBC super-bantamweight title via majority decision in the main event at the Hull Ice Arena on Saturday.
At the end of the contest, the judges at ringside scored the bout 114-114 and 117-111, 116-112 for Vargas.
From the opening bell, Vargas looked comfortable, working the body well, showing his superior power and frustrating a committed McDonnell.
I did what I could. I left it all in there. I know I got beat, and I’m disappointed, but I can hold my head high.
Meanwhile, McDonnell looked to make British boxing history by joining his brother as a fellow world champion through a steely determination. He refused to cower in the face of adversity. Instead, he opted to fight on the front foot and attempt to battle Vargas on the inside.
Such tactics, however, brought very limited success for McDonnell. The Doncaster native did his best work in the latter stages of the contest – landing some solid counters in the ninth and tenth rounds which drew applause from the crowd – however, they seemed to shock Vargas rather than seriously hurt him.
In the post-fight press conference, a deflated McDonnell talked about his defeat.
“It was a tough fight,” said McDonnell. “I was trailing, so I had to force it, but Rey was just nicking rounds and was slightly better in every department.
“You’ve got to give him credit. He wouldn’t let me pin him, and when I did pin him, I just didn’t do enough. But, at the end of the day, I did what I could. I left it all in there, and I know I got beat. I’m disappointed, but I can hold my head high. It’s one of them [situations where] the better man beat me.”