Mikey Garcia bounces back while Kal Yafai loses his WBA title

Heartbreak for Britain’s Kal Yafai as he loses his WBA super flyweight title in KO defeat to Roman Gonzalez while Mikey Garcia sets up potential super showdown against Manny Pacquiao with win over Jesse Vargas

  • Mikey Garcia defeated Jesse Vargas in a unanimous points win in Dallas, Texas 
  • The 32-year-old lost to Errol Spence last year but bounced back on Saturday 
  • Garcia knocked Vargas down in the fifth and won 116-111, 116-111, 114-113
  • Meanwhile, Britain’s Kal Yafai suffered his first loss via a ninth round TKO 

Mikey Garcia earned a unanimous points victory over Jesse Vargas on Saturday night to set up a summer bout with Manny Pacquiao, while Britain’s Kal Yafai suffered his first professional defeat to lose his WBA super flyweight title. 

Garcia took control in the fifth round, when he knocked down Vargas with a hard right to the left side of the face. In the seventh, Garcia pummeled Vargas against the ropes in the closing 10 seconds.

Judges Catherine Leonard and Steve Morrow scored the bout 116-111 while David Sutherland had it 114-113. 

Mikey Garcia bounced back from his only professional loss to defeat Jesse Vargas in Dallas

The 32-year-old knocked down the American in the fifth round as he cruised to victory

‘He definitely lost his power after that (first knockdown),’ Garcia said. ‘I really started to get into a rhythm of things, and I just kept going.’ 

Through four rounds, Vargas had led 3-1 on two of the three judges’ cards. The Los Angeles-born fighter conceded he didn’t put his foot down from that point on.

‘I thought I hurt him in the fourth, but I seemed to lighten up,’ Vargas said. ‘Mikey’s a great fighter. His timing was pretty good. I fought my heart out. I thought it was closer than what the judges thought.’

Eleven months and 40 miles separated from the darkest day of his professional boxing career, Mikey Garcia now feels comfortable with the weight class he considers home. 

Garcia won on all three judges’ scorecards, winning 116-111, 116-111, 114-113 on Saturday

Errol Spence had inflicted Garcia’s first professional defeat when they fought 11 months ago

Last March in Arlington, Texas, Garcia moved up two weight classes as lightweight champion to challenge Errol Spence Jr. for the IBF 147-pound championship in an attempt to claim a title in his fifth weight class. Spence won a unanimous decision, taking every round.

With the win in his second fight at welterweight, Garcia said the weight class is ‘a good option’ and will now aim for a matchup against Manny Pacquiao.

‘I think it’s very likely that we are considered a likely opponent,’ Garcia said. 

Meanwhile, Britain’s Kal Yafai suffered his first professional defeat to lose his WBA super flyweight title to Roman Gonzalez. The previously unbeaten Yafai was stopped in the ninth round via TKO.   

Great Britain’s Kal Yafai suffered his first professional loss after losing to Roman Gonzalez

The 32-year-old Nicaraguan knocked the Birmingham-born fighter down in the ninth round

Yafai was unable to make it through the ninth and lost his WBA super flyweight world title

Gonzalez knocked down Yafai in the closing seconds of the eighth round. Less than 30 seconds into the ninth, Gonzalez landed a left jab to Yafai’s face and followed with a powerful right to the face that floored Yafai, who was making his sixth title defense, to end the bout.

Gonzalez said he dedicated the fight to his children, who were hurt by his recent defeats.

‘I promised my kids I was going to become a world champion again,’ he said.

Mexico City’s Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KOs) retained his WBC flyweight title in his first defense with a 12-round unanimous decision that handed Wales’ Jay Harris (17-1, 9 KOs) his first professional loss. Martinez bloodied Harris’ nose in the first round, opened a cut over his left eye in the fourth and knocked him to his right knee in the 10th.


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