Adrien Broner is a peculiar case in the world of boxing. "I have the best manager [Al Haymon] in the world". Broner possessed incredible potential, but his erratic behavior inside and outside the ring has impacted his legacy and career.
"I want to thank Jessie Vargas - he's a two-time world champion for a reason", Broner said.
Broner, 28, closed Round 9 with a huge flurry, including a devastating left uppercut which violently snapped Vargas' head back. "You see what you get". Vargas was content with staying outside, and he was able to maintain distance with his jab. When it was time, I went forward and caught him with enough shots to get him out. "I thought I got him with a couple good shots but I lingered too long in the pocket and I didn't get out in time".
"Nah, if you want to", Broner said.
Vargas also thought he won.
Vargas really looked to be feeling the pace. Vargas, in his second fight with Hall of Famer Mike McCallum as his trainer, took exception to a low blow that referee Charlie Fitch missed and came right back with a combination.
A subtle momentum shift from round nine to ten, as Broner would be more aggressive against Vargas.
Neither fighter loses anything following the even verdict and both proved they're still enticing names in the loaded welterweight division.
Towards the end of the fight, Broner managed to break down Vargas, whose cut managed to open up to the point where blood was running down his face and chest. Vargas won another round.
Broner has won world titles from junior lightweight to welterweight, but lost decisions when he faced his best opponents in Garcia, Shawn Porter in 2015 and Marcos Maidana in 2013.
By the ninth round, Broner had swelling around his right eye and Vargas was marked up near his left eye. He was on his way to winning this round, but Vargas outworked Broner down the stretch to steal the round. He followed upt with a good combination before Broner landed a good combination in return.
Vargas by far the busier fighter, throwing 839 total punches and connecting 203 of those punches (24 percent), but Broner was more efficient with his punches, landing 194 of 507 total punches (38 percent). Broner continued to wait and Vargas continued to let his hands go. Still neither fighter knocked the other down, although Broner slipped to the canvas late in the fifth round. Broner with hands to his side was trying to bait Vargas in. Vargas put his head down and continied to work but Broner clearly had a quicker hands. Vargas was in complete control of the fight and was pitching a shutout. Both boxers landed well. Broner landed a 3-punch combination. He could have won this round merely due to Vargas's lack of interest.
Broner's strongest round of the fight, but Vargas persists.
The 28-year-old Broner indicated Vargas will push for an immediate rematch because he would make more for that fight than any other bout that's realistically available for him. His power didn't hurt Broner, but his activity level was stealing the round. This was a clear round for Broner and Vargas looked gassed.
It was a tale of two fights - one with Vargas taking it to Broner in the first half with his jab, body punching and relentless punching in general. The fight was close, and Broner took his foot off the gas.
Vargas has struggled of late, going 2-2 in his last four fights, though the losses were to Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.
Broner pressed the action in the 11th. Vargas circled on the outside, but Broner stalked him and landed several meaningful lefts.
"Anybody can get it", Broner said, after defeating Molina in 2014.
Not much happened in the first two minutes of the 12th.
Broner: Hey man, f-k all that. It didn't look like either boxer was willing to put it all on the line. A pair of judges scored it 114-114, while the third had it 115-113 for Broner. Morgan and Marlinski had it 114-114.
Vargas came out hot in the first half of the fight, but he did fade as the bout went on.