Francisco Vargas Punishes Rod Salka on ESPN
April 12, 2018
Anthony Saldana (79 articles)
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Francisco Vargas Punishes Rod Salka on ESPN

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Thursday night the Golden Boy on ESPN series headed back to the California Desert as the former WBC Super Featherweight Champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KO’s) took on Rod Salka (24-4, 4 KO’s) in a ten round lightweight bout from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio. Vargas looked sharp in the early rounds popping a solid jab and landing quick combinations. Vargas continued to pressure and punish Salka and in the 5th round landed hard body shot followed by a vicious uppercut that floored Salka. Vargas kept his foot on the gas landing at will busting up face of Salka and after the 6th round the corner of Rod Salka had seen enough and waived off the fight giving Francisco Vargas the TKO victory. After the bout Vargas stated “I’m very content with the fight tonight, I did my best to put on a good show for the fans and now I’m ready for Miguel Berchelt and getting my revenge.”

In the Co-main event Blythe’s Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (18-4-2, 13 KO’s) entered the ring for the first time in 572 days to take on the previously unbeaten Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6 KO’s) in a 10 round bout for the vacant WBA Intercontinental Super Featherweight Title. Cancio who is coming off a tough loss to Joseph “JoJo” Diaz came out with a vengeance. Cancio landed hard shots early and often and at the end of the third connected with a short left hook that dropped Sharibayev. Cancio continued the punishment throughout the early rounds and at the end of the fifth Cancio landed a devastating overhand hand that dropped Sharibayev for the second time in the bout. By the end of the 6th round Cancio had landed an astounding 52% of his power shots completely dominating Sharibayev. At the 43 second mark of the 10th and final round the corner of  Sharibayev had seen enough and threw in the towel, giving Cancio the TKO victory and a WBA title. “I feel real good getting this win in front of my hometown and my kids” stated Cancio after the fight. “I told you guys I wasn’t going to do any talking and let my boxing speak for me, I felt excellent I jabbed a lot, I threw my combinations, I was smart and moved out of the way, it was a different Chango in there today I felt great”

In the television swing bout Indio’s own Rommell Caballero made his professional debut against Eric Rodriguez (1-2-1) in a scheduled four round lightweight bout. Caballero came out firing on all cylinders but at the end of first round Caballero and Rodriguez clashed heads, Rodriguez was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a technical draw much to the disappointment of the crowd on hand.

In other bouts

Hometown favorite Javier Padilla (5-0-1, 5 KO’s) went toe to toe with Ricardo Arias (1-2-1) in a four round rematch of their first fight that ended in a draw. In an explosive back and forth battle Padilla looked sharp and clearly out boxed Arias to capture a unanimous decision victory. “I’ve dedicated myself more to boxing this time around,” said Javier Padilla. “That’s why I won this rematch. I was working the graveyard shift before heading to the weigh-in for the first fight. But I’ve quit my job, so I was well rested for this one. I can’t wait to be back.”

Undefeated newly signed Welterweight prospect Aaron “The Silencer” McKenna (2-0, 1 KO) of Monaghan, Ireland battled Keason Freeman (4-1, 2 KO’s) from Aiken, South Carolina. McKenna wasted no time in dropping Freeman two times in the first round as he came away with a TKO victory. With the win McKenna moves to (3-0, 2 KO’s) “I felt very strong,” saidMcKenna after the bout. “I landed some good, solid shots. After he went down the first time, I knew he couldn’t handle my power. I knew I had to start fast but at the same time be patient, and it all came together.

Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (8-0, 5 KO’s) of San Diego, California took on the tough Japanese fighter who fights out of Mexico City, Shoki Sakai (27-8-2, 12 KO’s) in an eight round Jr. Welterweights bout. Gamez looked good and stayed one step ahead of his opponent as Gamez came away with unanimous decision victory. “I felt great, though he (Sakai) was much bigger,” said Genaro Gamez. “It was good experienced because he was tough, but at 130 or 135 nobody beats me.”

Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (14-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, California scored a tough unanimous decision victory against Justin Savi (9-14-1, 6 KOs) of Silver Spring, Maryland in a welterweight bout. Navarro won with scores of 80-72, 80-72 and 79-72. After the bout Navarro stated “It was a tough fight because he can take a punch. I’ve been staying very busy because I’ve been finishing my bouts clean and without taking too much punishment. Hopefully, I can take a little break and come back in the summer.”

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Anthony Saldana