GBP Francisco Vargas vs Rod Salka and Andrew Cancio vs Aidar Sharibayev

GBP Francisco Vargas vs Rod Salka and Andrew Cancio vs Aidar Sharibayev

BY KID HERSH

Golden Boy Promotions GBP boxing on ESPN2 from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio California featured a card of prospects and veterans.

Aidar Sharibayev (7-, 6KO's) vs Andrew Cancio (17-4-2, 13KO's).  The referee was Raul Caiz.  In the first round both men were landing punches while trying to press forward and take control.  In the second round Sharibayev was giving ground to Cancio, who was pressing forward but walking into hard counters.  Also Sharibayev was putting in good body work.  In the third round it was Cancio's pressure that was bursting the pipes of Sharibayev as he landed a right hand early in the round that wobbled Sharibayev's legs.  Cancio followed up with more combinations and while he was not able to immediately put Sharibayev down, he was accumulating damage both to the head and body until at the end of the round he landed a shotgun blast of a left hook out of nowhere that put Sharibayev to the canvas.  Sharibayev got up and looked like he was in excellent shape because he was recouped in the fourth round, but the bad news is that he was still taking lots of punishment as he kept his hands far too low and was an easy target for Cancio.  This continued into the fifth round, where Sharibayev hit the canvas for the second time in the fight at the end of the round.  He got up but made it through the round just like in the third due to there being almost no time left in the round.  Sharibayev was looking very beaten in the sixth round, though, as the fight was almost stopped but Sharibayev was able to dig really deep and hold out under pressure yet again.  This continued into the seventh round as Sharibayev was again blasted around the ring, with his legs even doing a "hop" off the canvas at one point, but he showed great heart and determination as he continued to weather the storm and throw punches back.  Suddenly Sharibayev landed a hard right hand with about thirty seconds left in the round that made Cancio back off, as the punch was perhaps Sharibayevs best of the fight and nearly out of nowhere at this juncture in the fight.  The eighth round started the same as nearly all the previous with Cancio pressing Sharibayev backwards and hitting the target but then suddenly Sharibayev seemed to almost get a second wind and was going forward and pressing Cancio backwards for the second half of the round.  It really was an amazing turn around because Sharibayev seemed to gain a second wind, despite all the damage he has taken.  Perhaps this was a ploy, however, as Sharibayev continued pressing forward with his hands down until Cancio suddenly turned the table two minutes into the ninth round and threw combinations to get Sharibayev off of him, seeming to hurt Sharibayev in the process as he got on his wheels to buy time and get away from Cancio to close out the ninth round.  Sharibayev needed a knockout to win in the tenth and final round but unfortunately, the fight was stopped early in the round when Sharibayevs legs betrayed him again and his corner threw in the towel when no doubt they realized that he could not get the knockout needed when hurt so early on in the final round.  It was still a great show of will and heart by Sharibayev while also being a great showcase by Cancio to get back in the win column after a long time out of the ring.  

Francisco Vargas (24-1-2, 17KO's) vs Rod Salka (24-4, 4KO's).  The referee was Jerry Cantu.  In the first round Vargas was very aggressive, pressing forward and throwing powerful punches from the start.  Salka was giving ground and getting hit but he looked "comfortable" thus far.  The rounds continued in much the same way, with Salka upping his output to try and fight back Vargas and while he was sometimes hitting the mark he just was not a very heavy puncher, as we knew already, so he was not deterring the aggressive Mexican.  At the end of the fifth round Salka went down from a great combination that started at the body and went up to the head.  It was a delayed reaction knockdown and so Salka got up to finish out the round.  Salka was getting beat around the ring in the sixth round and while he stayed on his feet it was to be his last round, and perhaps last of his career, as his corner stopped the fight in between rounds.  Bandido Vargas is back and looked a lot like his old self.  

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