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REY RETAINS WBC CROWN IN GRUELLING CONTEST


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WBC Super Bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (32-0, 23 KOs) retained his belt in a very hard fought twelve round unanimous decision, over rugged power punching Armenian  Azat Hovhannisyan (14-3, 11 KOs) at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York.
 
It was Rey`s third  successful defence of the title, and by far his toughest.  He finished the 12-round fight,  with blood streaming down both sides of his face, the result of headbutts in the eighth and 12th rounds.  Azat`s head did terrible damage in the final round causing a long jagged, gaping  gash over Rey`s left brow, which will need a basket load of needle point to close.

Rey who fought at long range scoring with accurate straight punches,  still has a perfect 32-0 in his career. He won on all three judges’ scorecards including one who had it 118-110, but it was a lot less comfortable than that. The other two scored it 117-111 and 116-112.

Yet The heavy handed Azat landed some hard left hooks to Rey`s jaw and face, which he took well.  Throughout the contest the  Armenian was swinging for the stands, sometimes getting over Rey`s guard, which he often surprisingly held too low. Yet the Armenian was also getting jolted by accurate counter punching by Rey.

With Freddie Roach in Azat`s corner and Nacho Beristain in Rey`s, there was no shortage of sage advice.  In a nutshell, Freddie was asking  Azat to close the distance in order to get the proper leverage to unleash bombs. While Nacho was urging Rey to keep it at middle and long distance to pepper the aggressive shorter incoming fighter.   This tactic became increasingly more successful after the half way mark, when Rey`s body punching,  began to tell and Azat became more ragged, still remaining dangerous with his power, which didn`t diminish.


Rey fought the final four rounds with blood streaming, causing a mask of crimson, not staunched by generous daubs of vasoline, but the cuts above his eyes did hamper his vision.  Lots of tumbles throughout the bout, but no knockdowns. By the end  Azat`s face was badly swollen...a testament to Rey`s accuracy.


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