Axel Aragon Vega begins the next act in his continued quest for a junior flyweight crown.
The 21-year-old from Baja California returned to the win column following a well-earned, ten-round unanimous decision victory over countryman Armando Torres. Scores were 96-95, 98-93 and 95-83 in favor of Vega in their Boxeo Telemundo main event Friday evening from Auditorio Blackberry in Mexico City.
Vega immediately negated a massive height and reach disadvantage by working his way inside and taking the fight straight to Torres. The left hook was the weapon of choice for the diminutive former title challenger at 4’9 ½”, connecting upstairs and not pardoning the body.
More of the same transpired in round two. Vega, 21, stood directly in front of Torres, bobbing and weaving at close quarters before firing his left hook to the chin of his 40-year-old foe. Vega took more of a boxing approach in round three, boxing from the outside where he was able to develop his straight right hand.
Torres came on late in round four, digging a double left hook to the body. It was by far his best sequence to that point, momentarily forcing Vega on the defense and not punching back for the first time in the fight.
Momentum swayed back in favor of Vega in round five, working his jab with regularity and connecting with straight rights. Torres dared Vega to come forward, clapping his gloves together and waving in his foe though not producing any in-ring success.
Vega went on the attack in round six, though only after brief confusion at the start of the round. A pair of left hooks connected, only for Torres to wince as he tried to sell the referee on a headbutt clipping his left eye. Vega checked with the referee before resuming action, only to slow down his offense and stick to boxing his way through most of the rest of the round.
Torres dug deep to make a fight of it in round seven. Vega refused to relinquish his lead, making for a fun two-way exchange at center ring. Vega surged further ahead in round eight, consistently beating Torres to the punch whether it was at close quarters or at a jab’s distance.
Vega was well ahead entering round nine, though forced to contend with reddening over his left eye from a clash of heads. Torres reached a point where he needed a knockout to win but lacked the steam on his punches to produce that type of dramatic moment.
The tenth and final round saw Vega stand directly in front of Torres, refusing to sit on his lead as he was content to dig in and trade. Torres was able to sneak in right hands to the body while badly missing with left hooks upstairs. Vega drove Torres to the canvas through the momentum of his body pitching forward, which the referee correctly waved off in ruling a slip.
Torres suffers his second straight defeat, falling to 26-20 (19KOs) after having previously won five in a row. The loss was his first at this venue, having won in each of his three appearances onsite prior to Friday evening.
Vega improves to 15-4-1 (8KOs) with the win, rebounding from a failed title bid earlier this year. A competitive fight through four rounds with WBA “Super” junior flyweight champion Hiroto Kyouguchi took an unfortunate turn when Vega suffered a broken hand and rendered unfit to continue in the fifth round of their entertaining clash this past March at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
A third title shot is very much the goal for Vega, who also came up just short in a technical decision defeat to Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Mendez in their October 2019 rematch for Mendez’s WBO strawweight title.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox