New York (AFP) - Mexico's Rey Vargas retained his World Boxing Council title with a unanimous decision over Azat Hovhannisyan in a bloody showdown between a pair of super bantamweight fighters on Saturday night.
Vargas made his third straight successful defense of the title despite finishing the 12-round fight with blood streaming down both sides of his face, the result of headbutts in the eighth and 12th rounds.
Vargas, who is now a perfect 32-0 in his career, won on all three judges' scorecards including one who had it 118-110. The other two scored it 117-11 and 116-112.
He fought the final four rounds with blood flowing freely but the cuts above his eyes did not seem to affect his vision that much.
After piling up points in the early rounds, he hurt Armenia's Hovhannisyan with a right hook in the ninth round at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
Vargas was coming off a twelve-round unanimous decision over undefeated Oscar Negrete in December.
Hovhannisyan, who is trained by the legendary cornerman Freddie Roach, dropped to a record of 14-3.
He was fighting for his first world title and the loss ended his eight-fight win streak.
In the other title fight Saturday, rising star Jaime Munguia crushed America's Sadam Ali to take the WBO junior middleweight title with a fourth-round stoppage.
Munguia, who had a substantial size and punching power advantage, easily won the lopsided bout. The 21-year-old Mexican floored Ali twice in the opening round, once in the second and again in the fourth before the referee put a halt to the slaughter.