Francisco Vargas pounds Will Tomlinson to eighth-round TKO
Francisco Vargas wanted to prove his technical knockout win over Juan Manuel Lopez was no fluke. He did so on Thursday night, at the expense of Will Tomlinson, stopping him in the eighth round at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.
Vargas improves to 22-0-1 (knockouts), while Tomlinson falls to 23-2-1 (13 KOs).
There were some in boxing who wondered whether Vargas’ win over Lopez on July 12 in Las Vegas was against a fighter who was past his prime. Vargas stopped Lopez after the third round. In his following bout on Dec. 13 he’d knocked out Genaro Camargo in the eighth round in Mexico.
The Australian-born Tomlinson had won his last two bouts since suffering a 10-round unanimous-decision loss to Jerry Belmontes on March 8 of last year.
Both fighters went on the attack from the opening bell. During the exchanges in the first two rounds, Vargas landed the more telling blows, beating Tomlinson to the punch with sharper counter hooks and crosses to the heads.
A counter right hand to the head by Vargas in the third round seemed to stun Tomlinson, who backed away momentarily and was able to survive the round.
Things got worse for Tomlinson with each passing round as his face bore the brunt of the punches Vargas landed.
After surviving a left to the body from Vargas, Tomlinson was hurt with a barrage of punches towards the end of the seventh round. While some would have thought someone should throw in the towel, Tomlinson’s corner sent him out for the eighth round.
It may not have been the wisest decision. Midway through the round, Vargas landed a left hook to the body, following up with a left hook to the head. Tomlinson dropped to the canvas, prompting referee Laurence Cole to stop the bout at 1:32.
Vargas is the mandatory challenger for the WBC and WBO junior lightweight titles.
Shabranskyy stops Pena
In the opening bout of the HBO Latino telecast, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy earned a technical-knockout win when his opponent, Fabiano Pena, did not come out for the sixth round.
Shabranskyy improves to 13-0 (11 KOs), while Pena falls to 11-1-1 (8 KOs).
It was a battle of two unbeaten light heavyweights, but the Ukrainian-born Shabranskyy, who currently resides in Los Angeles, was the more polished fighter. Early on, he landed repeatedly with right hands to the head of the shorter Pena.
Undaunted, Pena tried to mount an offense, but Shabranskyy easily countered him with hooks and crosses. Shabranskyy began digging to the body, which slowed down the Brazilian fighter.
Despite not using a consistent jab, Shabranskyy continued to land a variety of punches to the head and body of Pena. After the fifth round, Pena’s corner told referee Rafael Ramos that their fighter was not able to continue, making Shabranskyy the winner by TKO.
Falcao overwhelms Terry
In a non-televised middleweight bout, Yamaguchi Falcao (4-0, 2 KOs) stopped Raymond Terry in the first round. Falcao dropped Terry (3-1, 2 KOs) with a left hook in the first round. Later in the round, Falcao hurt Terry with a right to the head and followed up with a barrage of punches before the fight was stopped.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing