Valiant Tomlinson succumbs to Vargas enslaught in eight

THERE is a reason why nobody in the super featherweight division is lining up to face Francisco Vargas.

Australia’s Will Tomlinson found that out the hard way, succumbing to the ferocious Mexican in eight rounds at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.

Tomlinson, 28, made the audacious choice to stand toe-to-toe with the big punching Vargas, 30, and for the opening three minutes, the fearless Melbournian was able to set the pace.

However, a well-schooled Vargas (now 22-0-1, 16 KOs) was able to match and ultimately better whatever Tomlinson threw his way, out-throwing and out-landing the courageous Australian for the duration of the fight.

While the action was relatively one-sided, it was constant and albeit for a momentary break in the second round, where Vargas was cut over his left eye from an accidental clash of heads, the action never relented.

The first signs of danger came in the third stanza, when a tidy Vargas swooped a neat counter hook which landed flush, stunning Tomlinson, who did well to survive the round.

In what was perhaps a sign of respect for the punching power of the defending NABF/WBO International super featherweight champion, Tomlinson (now 23-2-1, 13 KOs) elected to box from a distance and cautiously circle around his opponent for the following two rounds.

A brave Tomlinson refused to back down and attempted to fight fire with Vargas, only to come off worse for wear in a majority of the exchanges.

Although Tomlinson appeared to outwork Vargas in the sixth round as well as the opening stages of the seventh round, he resembled a lost figure in the second half of the fight, as many questions his corner for letting the Australian out for the eighth round.

Sensing the end was near, Vargas was predatory in his instinct, stalking Tomlinson before ending proceedings with a sharp two-punch combination which began with a left hook to the body and ended with a hook upstairs.

A weary Tomlinson fell to the canvas and referee Laurence Cole wisely called the fight.

Having successfully defending his regional titles, the WBC/WBO #1 rated Vargas is within reaching distance of a world title fight. In his post-fight interview, the Mexican respectfully called for the winner of the looming WBO super featherweight title fight between Orlando Salido and Rocky Martinez.

Tomlinson’s future at super featherweight remains unclear, given that the Australian had previously campaigned at lightweight for his past two fights.

Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO Boxing



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