Salt Lake City, UT, USA - WBO Oriental Champion Junior Fa 19-0 (11 KOs) looked impressive dropping US Olympian Devin Vargas two times and earned a unanimous decision at the Salt Palace on Saturday evening.
Devin Vargas 21-6 (9 KOs) showed last August in defeating undefeated prospect Niall Kennedy that he was a dangerous customer with a strong amateur background. However against New Zealand's Junior Fa 19-0 (10 KOs) the American came away second best while giving the Tongan a stern test.
In the first round Fa used his jab to good effect, while Vargas threw the occasional lead right.
Vargas had a better second round, landing some telling blows, which Fa seemed to have trouble avoiding.
Junior Fa applied pressure in round 3, both landed, but both also missed a great deal. Near the end of the round Vargas was landing effective counters and it seemd that Fa was getting tired.
Vargas came out applying pressure in round 4 and seemed to have weathered Junior Fa's storm and in fact landed a hard combnation near the end of the round that seemed to buzz the New Zealander.
Vargas' pressure was brought to a halt in round 5 as Fa landed a beautiful body shot dropping the American for an 8 count. By round's end hard excahnges were fought, the fight was just heating up.
By round 6 it was clear that Fa was getting a better test than most had expected. By the end of the round, Vargas was showing signs of wilting under Fa's constant pressure.
With solid composure into round 8, Junior Fa dropped Vargas with another body shot and even though he beat the count, Vargas seemed to have something taken out of him.
Round 9 started with both throwing fast combinations, with Junior Fa seeming to have the most damaging effect.
Junior Fa finished strong and earned a unanimous decision and gained great experience and showed he has a bright future in the divsion.
In the co-main event Hemi Ahio 16-0 (11 KOs) exchanged fire with a determined Joshua Tufte 19-4 (9 KOs) and scored three knockdowns with the bout being stopped in the second round. Ahio shows a great deal of promise and can be expected to appear in more major fights as he climbs the heavyweight ladder.
The overall event was a stunning success and brought an impressive evening of boxing to Salt Lake City.