Jessie Vargas goes in to battle On May 5, 2012, on the HBO PPV undercard of Ring Kings where Miguel Cotto is scheduled to face Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for Cotto’s belt at 154 pounds, the WBA Light Middleweight title in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jessie Vargas has had the luxury of fighting on most of his boss’ PPV undercards as he is signed to Mayweather Promotions. Vargas was a heavily touted prospect at 140 scoring 9 KO’s out of 16 fights but after his move to the welterweight division from jr welterweight, some may say he’s become a bit lack luster.
On 9/17/11, the under card of Floyd Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz, Vargas faced Josesito Lopez who was coming off a big win to Mike Dallas Jr to rack up 7 straight wins. The fight between the two; Vargas vs Lopez was expected to be a war but what we got was Vargas looking sluggish and fighting off the back foot for the second half of the fight to squeeze out a split decision win.
Then we seen Jessie Vargas come back on his first Headline of a ShoBox bout on Showtime network versus the ever rough and tough rugged Lanardo Tyner, which was one ugly fight were we seen low blows, too much holding, and not much of a fan pleasing fight. So fast forward to Saturday May 5th, Vargas steps into the ring with late replacement Steve Forbes after Alfonso Gomez was forced to withdraw
Alfonso Gomez was going to be a step up for Jessie Vargas. Alfonso Gomez is a two-time world title challenger. Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs), a former star of “The Contender” reality series, twice challenged for world titles. He was stopped in five rounds by then welterweight titlist Cotto, a fight that came two bouts after Gomez knocked out the late Arturo Gatti and sent him into retirement. In September of last year Gomez, 31, a native of Mexico living in Southern California, challenged junior middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and was stopped in the sixth round of a competitive fight.
Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs), 22, of Las Vegas, was put on the card because he is one of Mayweather’s fighters but in my opinion, if a better opponent other then Steve Forbes couldn’t be found in time maybe the fight should have gotten scratched all together. The problem I have with Steve Forbes is for one, we will learn nothing about Vargas with this fight.
Steve Forbes is 35 years old, has never been consider a contender and his record won 35 (KO 11) -10 (KO 1)
and has boxed 324 rounds. That a hell of a lot of rounds boxed which leads me to my next quesion. What does Forbes have left? The fact that he has a KO percent of 24.44, tells me he won’t have anything to keep Vargas off him and this will turn out to be a glorified sparring match showcase for Vargas. Let’s be honest, Forbes claim to fame was fighting Oscar De La Hoya and being a sparring partner his whole career because he’s never won on big stage.
We had the opportunity to interview Jessie Vargas live on our show Tha Boxingvoice Radio link to audio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thaboxingvoiceradioshow/2012/05/03/yvo…
When asked how did he see the fight between Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto going he had this to say,”Floyd has a pretty tough task in front him but he’s put in the position where he just has to perform. I think Floyd is going to take it! We pretty much expect that, but it will also be a great fight. ”
When asked him about his training at the Mayweather gym he says, “I’m not a normal fighter at the gym when I train it’s for a fight. I’m not there just to train. We prepare for a certain fighter. I’ve never been thrown in the “Doghouse”. Floyd respects me. He’s been around me my entire career. we have a different relationship then most other fighters”. ( The “Doghouse” is a point were Floyd matches two fighters randomly in tough sparring for all to watch as all others in gym crowd around every inch of ring apron and beat the floor of the ring like drums to intensify the mood of the sparring.)
When asked about training with Roger Mayweather since he was 8 years old and what caused the switch to Robert Alcazar? Vargas said, “Well there were certain things that happen that lead to me feeling I needed a change. I switched from Roger to Robert Alcazar and I hope I never have to change again. I want to finish my career with Robert. The change was a difficult one in terms of the style of fighting and training. Roger Mayweather is a great trainer but I think the decision to make the switch from Roger to Robert was a good one and I feel comfortable in my decision.”
Vargas was also up front to why and how he was signed to Mayweather Promotions. He said, “Pretty much all three big company’s wanted me; Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank Promotions, and Mayweather Promotions but Floyd does business fast. He express how much he wanted to sign me and much like the Godfather Movie he made me a offer I couldn’t refuse (laughing)”.
When asked about if he felt let down or upset Alfonso Gomez pulled out of their fight Vargas said, “Yeah, we were really frustrated. We came down to the last few weeks of sparring. We had everything set. We had the game plan. We were ready to beat him in great fashion. Alfonso Gomez has a good name; I really wanted to have that name under my resume.” But he was upbeat and did had this about Forbes,”I am looking to have a great performance; a spectacular one to beat him in a way that no one has ever beat him before.”
When I asked about his two past fights where he kind of lost some of his hype by not looking like the fighter we expected he explained, “Well Josesito Lopez is a very good tough fighter at 29-3. I think that was a good win and I basically dominated Tyner, but every time you have a fight it’s the most important of your career. I wouldn’t say the pressure is on, well yeah the pressure is on! Because I have to and I will give a great performance. ”
Vargas had some interesting things to say about others that move up in weight as he did. “I’m not one of those fighters that picks and chooses his fighters when I made the move from 140 to 147. I fought a 147 pounder not a guy who fought a fighter from 140 who also moved up. My fight was a legititament 147 pound fight (Devon Alexander vs Marcos Maidana).
Vargas hopes for a great performance because he’s a free agent after his May 5th bout. “After this fight it’s time to sit down again and renegotiate but I plan on staying with them,we just need to talk again.”
Jessie Vargas is the future at 147 and has a promising career ahead of him but first, he will need to handle Steve Forbes; which in my opinion shouldn’t be hard at all. He has the talent and the backing, now we just need to see him versus more contenders.
Questions or comments reach out to me on twitter @Nesgto