Former world lightweight champion Brandon Rios came through his comeback test after becoming embroiled in a dirty affair with rugged Argentinian Diego Chaves in Las Vegas.
The 28 year-old had the superiority on the inside, whilst Chaves did his better work with combinations on the outside, but ultimately persistant fouls halted the bout.
Chaves was guilty on occasions of rubbing his glove into the face of Rios, coupled with a few sly thumbs in the eye and referee Vic Drakulich had seen enough after nine rounds of ten.
On the cards, judges had Chaves, also 28, ahead marginally on two of sheets, although I had Rios 75-74 up at the time of the stoppage, which sees ‘Bam Bam’ move to 32-2-1 with 23 KO’s.
After the fight, a clearly irate Rios said: “He kept grabbing me and putting his thumb in my eye,” to HBO’s Jim Lampley, before adding: “I don’t mind if you want to fight, let’s fight – but don’t fight dirty.”
A rematch between the two would certainly be worthwhile if Rios agreed to it as the fight was entertaining despite the constant encroachments.
According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, Rios was taken to hospital after the contest but released after an MRI scan came back clear.
In the co-feature, Jessie Vargas kept hold of his WBA light-welterweight title with a one-sided points win over Russian Antonin Novikov. Vargas, 25, remains undefeated in 25 contests as judges carded scores of 118-111 (twice} and 117-111 to inflict a maiden defeat on Novikov in 30 fights.
Also on the bill, Jessie Magdaleno improved to 19-0 with a seventh round stoppage of Carlos Rodriguez, Jose Ramirez stayed unbeaten with a decision over Alfred Romero, whilst Erick De Leon and Shane Mosley Jr both halted their foes in earlier bouts.
Pictures by Chris Farina/Top Rank
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