Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas fight results: Garcia proves power in decision win, wants Manny Pacquiao

Stubborn to prove his legitimacy as a welterweight, Mikey Garcia doubled down at 147 pounds on Saturday night and let his right hand do the talking. Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) shook off an 11-month layoff following his first defeat and proved his welterweight power by dropping a tough Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) en route to a unanimous decision inside The Ford Center Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

A late Vargas rally kept the scorecards close as Garcia took home judges scores of 114-113, 116-111, 116-111 in a fight he visibly dominated after a slow start. CBS Sports also scored the bout 116-111.

“I feel very happy to be back and I did have to make adjustments to his height, reach and natural size,” Garcia said. “As the fight went on, I started feeling that I was hurting him and closing the gap a little bit more. I figured out the timing and pace and I thought it went well. “I think I carried the weight a little better which allows me to perform better. I was light on my feet when I had to [be], and I was solid on my feet when I had to [be]. Jessie is a big man.”

Despite giving up 5 inches in height and 3 inches in reach, the 32-year-old Garcia showcased the timing and form that has seen him ranked among the pound-for-pound best in the sport. The former four-division champion outlanded Vargas 152-142, according to CompuBox, and connected on 44 percent of his power shots. More importantly, the four-division champion successfully rebounded from a one-sided loss to current unified champion Errol Spence Jr. in their pay-per-view clash last April.

After signing a one-fight deal with future options to fight on DAZN under the promotional banner of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, Garcia also put himself in a great spot to possibly draw Manny Pacquiao this summer.

“I think I can have big options. I’m ready to get back in with the best,” Garcia said. “I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao or get a rematch with Errol Spence. I think it would be a tremendous fight, and I’m better now at this weight class. I think I want to continue to campaign at 147 and search a title in my fifth division.”

Garcia bloodied the nose of Vargas and wobbled him with combinations in Round 5 before sending him to the canvas with a hard right cross. He went on to hurt the 30-year-old Vargas twice more but was unable to force the stoppage even though referee Jon Schorle appeared close to stepping in late in Round 7 when Vargas was pinned against the ropes.

“I started to hurt him as the rounds went by. I took him closer to the corner and caught him with a good right hand that knocked him down,” Garcia said. “Over time, he started to feel the power and I hurt him again. I felt that my speed and power was all perfect, and I was able to put it into effect against a bigger guy.”

To his credit, Vargas never stopped trying to win. After recovering from wobbly legs throughout the middle portion of the fight, he kept pressing forward to give him a shot at stealing a number of late rounds due to his output and focus on the body.

“Mikey fought a great fight. His timing was pretty good and precise. I give him credit,” Vargas said. “It was a learning experience for me. I thought it was a close fight. I would like a rematch. I’m not arguing or disputing the decision, but I did think it was close. I think the knockdown made a difference. I really got overconfident with his power. I think he has good pop and credit to Mikey.”

Garcia vs. Vargas card, results

Mikey Garcia def. Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision (114-113, 116-111, 116-111)
Roman Gonzalez def. Khalid Yafai (c) via 9th-round KO to win the WBA super flyweight title
Julio Cesar Martinez (c) def. Jay Harris via unanimous decision (117-109, 116-111, 115-112) to retain the WBC flyweight title
Joseph Parker def. Shawndell Winters via 5th-round TKO

Brian Campbell’s scorecard

Garcia

9

9

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

9

9

116

Vargas

10

10

9

9

8

9

9

9

9

9

10

10

111

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