Journeyman boxer Dakota Linger scored the biggest win in his career when he TKO super lightweight contender Josue Vargas last Saturday.
The Puerto Rican Vargas held a respectable 20-2 record with 9 knockouts coming into the match. While Linger, on the other hand, was 12-5-3 and winless in his last three fights.
Linger was brought onto the Top Rank card for only one reason, to build Vargas’s confidence following the first-round TKO loss to Jose Zepeda last October. Zepeda is now the mandatory challenger for Josh Taylor’s unified super lightweight title.
Since the devastating loss, Vargas has won an 8-rounder against journeyman Nicolas Pablo Demario by unanimous decision. He was expected to perform similarly or even better in the boxing match against Linger.
However, Linger proved that he’s no easy task to handle. While both started the fight strongly in the first round and boxed carefully, things changed really fast.
Less than a minute into the second round, Linger landed a crushing overhand right that dropped Vargas. Despite the clear knockdown, referee Ron Lipton declared it as a slip.
Not even a minute later, Vargas was tied to the rope while Linger delivered a barrage until ‘The Prodigy’ finally downed again. Vargas then beat the count, even though it was visibly clear that he was wobbly. The ref still allowed him to continue.
Linger then tried to secure the win and deliver another barrage of shots to the badly hurt Vargas. Fortunately, Vargas was saved by a ringside physician and a boxing commissioner that asked the ref to stop the match. In addition to the doctor and commissioner, Vargas’s corner also threw in the towel to save their guy.
Should the ref have stopped Dakota Linger's fight with Josue Vargas earlier? 🤔🥊 pic.twitter.com/Efa1xQ4zwd
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) June 12, 2022
The boxing world is concerned about fighter’s safety as recently South African boxer, Simiso Buthelezi, passed following a bout he was winning until his brain bleed became apparent. Buthelezi was taken into medical care after the fight. Unfortunately, he passed few days later.