Liam Smith Keeps Promise, Finishes Jessie Vargas In 10 Rounds
All eyes were on the main event of the Saturday showdown between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano in the Madison Square Garden, but Liam Smith made sure all that limelight didn’t go that way.
Smith (32-3-1, 18 KOs) put on a clinical show on the night that many regards as the greatest night in the history of women’s boxing. Ahead of their super welterweight showdown in MSG, both Smith and Jessie Vargas had dared to leave the sport for good if they lose on Saturday night.
And it appeared, Smith was here to stay.
The grey-haired Smith was on heels from the starting bell, stalking Vargas and cutting the ring ever so expertly.
The ‘Beefy’ worked behind his jab, landing a solid liver shot every now and then. After two, Smith seemed to be in control of the fight.
In the third, both fighters started taking big shots from one another, with Liverpool-native being more active and industrious in his approach. Smith had the back of the British supporters as he pushed forward amidst their heightening voices.
A clash of heads opened a cut on the right eye of Smith. Vargas tried to answer ‘Beefy’ with some counters of his own with his back against the ropes, but Smith with a better ring IQ proved too much for the American.
With just 40 seconds remaining in the fourth, Vargas wobbled Smith with a thunderous right hook – And it was the only moment in the whole fight where Smith didn’t seem to be in command.
But the Brit, having already fought the likes of Canelo Alvarez, reacted swiftly and busted open a cut on Vargas’ left eye.
Smith’s bodywork was exemplary throughout the fight, limiting Vargas’ movement. He was the one who exclusively provided the forward pressure.
The left-hand downstairs, uppercut, and overhead right hand were the tools used by Smith to shatter Vargas’ confidence all night. And by the end of the sixth, it was obvious the referee could lunge in and stop Vargas from further punishment at any moment.
The story remained the same in almost every round thereafter with the ref seeing enough and calling it out in the tenth.
The Silent Stalker re-announced himself on the bigger stage and proved he is not hanging his gloves any sooner. Smith now has his eyes set on the second world title of his career.