Jessie Vargas vs Aaron Herrera
In his first fight since losing the WBO welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in November 2016, Vargas defeated Herrera by unanimous decision at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California. Vargas won each of the 10 rounds in their 147-pound bout and won by the same score, 100-89, according to all three judges.
Las Vegas’ Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) was economical with his punches, but consistently connected with his jab and almost completely controlled the action against Mexico’s Herrera (33-8-1, 22 KOs). Vargas had hoped to knock out an opponent who had lost by knockout or technical knockout three times since March 2016, but settled for going the distance.
It looked like Vargas would stop Herrera in the sixth round, when he hit Herrera with a right-left combination that sent Herrera to the canvas with 1:45 to go in it.
Any momentum Vargas had following that knockdown was halted when Vargas went to his corner between the sixth and seventh rounds. The water he drank while seated on his stool seemed to go down the wrong pipe, which caused a choking Vargas to jump up and catch his breath.
After taking a cautious approach in the seventh round, Vargas went back to picking apart Herrera throughout the eighth round.
That trend continued in the ninth and 10th rounds. Vargas landed a flush left hook that moved Herrera backward with 1:10 remaining in the fight, yet couldn’t drop Herrera again.
This was Vargas's first fight, first victory since his defeat to then WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao, a year earlier.