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Vargas and McDonnell to fight for vacant 122-pound title

Fighters Network

One man’s retirement is another man’s gain.

Rey Vargas will take on Gavin McDonnell for a vacant WBC junior featherweight title on either Feb. 18 or Feb. 25 in the United Kingdom, the WBC announced this week. The organization ordered the fight in the wake of three-division champion Hozumi Hasegawa’s surprise retirement this month, which left the 122-pound title vacant.

Mexico’s Vargas (28-0, 22 knockouts) was the No. 1 contender upon Hasegawa’s retirement; England’s McDonnell, who is the twin brother of bantamweight titleholder Jamie McDonnell, was rated second. Vargas stopped former junior bantamweight champion Alexander Munoz in the fifth round on Sept. 3 in his last fight; McDonnell (16-0-2, 4 KOs) won an eight-round decision against Robin Zamora on Sept. 10.

“Undefeated Mexican Rey Vargas will be fighting for the World Boxing Council vacant super bantamweight title against Britain Gavin McDonell in February,” the WBC said in a statement on its website. “This after Japanese champion Hozumi Hasegawa announced his retirement from Boxing. The World Boxing Council in accordance with its regulations reported that Vargas, the world number one and mandatory challenger to the crown, will face the highest ranked contender available, McDonnell is # 2 in the rankings. The fight could take place on February 18 or 25 in the UK.”