If your name was Jessie and you were from Las Vegas, Friday was a good night.
Welterweight Jessie Vargas and super bantamweight Jessie Magdaleno turned the Thomas &Mack Center into their own personal gym as both remained undefeated and scored impressive victories in front of 1,500 who took advantage of a free ticket offer.
Vargas, who improved to 23-0, won a 10-round decision over veteran Ray Narh while Magdaleno stopped Raul Hidalgo in the third round to go to 17-0.
Vargas had the far tougher fight as Narh was willing to engage throughout and put pressure on Vargas. But ultimately, Vargas landed more shots and he was able to control enough of the rounds in the eyes of the judges.
Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti had it 98-91 and Jerry Roth scored it 97-92— all for Vargas.
Vargas started fast, then seemed a bit gassed by the end of the fifth round. He picked up the pace in the sixth and fought with more energy the rest of the way.
Narh (26-4) may have punched himself out trying to get a knockout in the first half of the fight. His punches lacked the zip they had earlier and he was not responding as crisply as he had been over the first five rounds.
Narh tried to rally in the 10th round and he appeared to hurt Vargas with a big right in the opening minute. But Vargas managed to shake off the blow and he held it together, knocking down Narh with a huge left in the final seconds.
Magdaleno simply outclassed Hidalgo from the outset. He established his left hand early in the fight and scored the first of his three knockdowns with 33 seconds to go in the opening round. He had Hidalgo in more trouble in round two as he worked the body and continued to score with the left to the head.
Hidalgo (19-10) was living on borrowed time and Magdaleno finished him in the third. He knocked him down with 47 seconds left and dropped him with 11 seconds remaining. Hidalgo was in no shape to continue and referee Vic Drakulich stopped it at 2:55.
“My thinking is a lot different,” Magdaleno said. “I set my shots up better now. I’m well positioned to throw my punches and I know what I’m going to throw before the round even starts.”
His new trainer, Joel Diaz, said Magdaleno was more relaxed and confident since they debuted together Aug. 24 in Glendale, Calif.
“He worked the game plan perfectly,” Diaz said. “We got that jab established and followed it with the left and it was perfect.
“He measured him, took his time and finished him, just like we talked about.”
Junior welterweight Jesus Gutierrez, the third local fighter competing on Friday’s card, was also impressive, scoring a first-round knockout of Ivan Zavala to remain undefeated at 10-0.
Gutierrez cut the ring off and kept landing solid shots early in the opening round.
The one time Zavala tried to counter, Gutierrez eluded the punch and countered with a sharp right uppercut that nailed Zavala and sent him tumbling backward to the canvas.
Referee Russell Mora counted Zavala (5-4-1) out at 2:21 and he remained on his back for several minutes before getting his bearings and leaving the ring under his own power.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.