Jessie Vargas is a young 23 year old Welterweight boxer that is on his way to climbing the ladder towards a possible title shot in the near future. Jessie was nice enough to allow me to interview him just hours after his fight against Vito Gasparyan in Las Vegas. It was the appetizer main event for Vegas on the night before the meal also known as Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. We talked about his fight he had just fought as well as his past relationship with Mayweather Promotions, and what he expects to do with Top Rank Promotions in terms of future fights.
Vargas was clearly the fan favorite, so I asked what it feels like to hear the crowd chanting his name as he walked into the ring and during the fight. He responded, “It felt great, it was unexplainable, there was so much excitement. When you have fans like that, you feel so happy. They gave me energy and that extra boost when I needed it during the fight.” Vargas went back and forth between body and head shots, inside and outside, fighting and boxing, so I asked if he ever was hurt and what made him change his styles so much in the ring. Vargas said, “He never hurt me, he landed some shots, but none of them had any impact on me. I just was trying to do a little of everything. I was comfortable inside, but had to change it up. I’m here to entertain the fans, so I have to change the tempo, boxing, then heavy exchanges. I’m learning how to control the tempo of a fight because that’s what fans like.”
Vargas controlled the fight, but couldn’t stop Gasparyan, so I asked why he couldn’t end the fight with the type of body shots he was delivering. He stated, ”I know I’m a good body puncher, I always want to pound the body and I’m not a weak guy, so I don’t know how he took them. I was hitting him with heavy shots and thought I had him in the 9th, I even thought the ref stopped it for a second, but Vito came to fight and was very well prepared.” Lastly about this fight, I asked how he felt now that he just finished a fight and how soon could he be ready for his next fight. Vargas enthusiastically said, “I’m ready to fight again now, January, February, I’m ready for whenever Cameron (Dunkin), gives me the okay. I’m just still energized, full of joy, and my fans enjoyed it, and so I’m happy.”
We then moved on to his future as this fight took place at 149, but Vargas says he will stay at 147, he actually thought this fight was going to be at 147 until he was that Vito wanted it moved up to 149, which he was fine with. I asked him about comparisons to his style and even mentioned Victor Ortiz with less power and he responded, “I don’t like to compare myself to anyone, I like to be my own fighter. Everyone is different and I have my own style, nothing against Victor, but we have different mentalities.”
Then I asked him if at the young age of 23 and only fighting as a pro for 4 years, if he feels he’s ready for a championship bout. Vargas said, “Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I’ll be ready and I’ll be up to the task. When a young fighter is given that opportunity, he has to rise to the occasion. Right now it’s all up to my manager, Cameron.” My next question was regarding a rumor of him possibly setting up a fight with Timothy Bradley. First on if that is something he is interested and would like, and second if his team has talked or had any negotiations with him. “Of course I would love that opportunity, he has the world title, and I would love and would jump at that chance. However, there has been no communication between our camps as of yet to set that up,” says Vargas.
The conversation then went to ship of promotions from Mayweather Promotions to Top Rank Promotions. His last fight under Mayweather Promotions was on the on the Mayweather-Cotto fight, so I wondered if there was something that happened after that fight that made him want to leave or if he had it planned ahead of time. I also wanted to know what was it that persuaded him to leave them and go to his main rival company Top Rank Promotions. Vargas just said, “There wasn’t anything that happened after that fight, negotiations just came up and I was straight up with Floyd. I told him that I was going to be negotiating on the side with others, and whoever offered the best deal was going to get me. Both are good companies and I have nothing bad to say against Mayweather Promotions. I’ve just known Cameron since I was 16 and he got me a good deal. Top Rank knows how to make stars and I’m looking forward to being 1 of their future boxing stars.”
I then asked if there was anything that Floyd could have done to keep him or if it was primarily a money deal, he said, “It was a money situation and whatever was going to be the best overall deal for me and I think Cameron did that for me.” Before I got off the situation, I wanted to know what he felt about Floyd’s camp, if it was too dysfunctional and the issues between Floyd and 50 cent. “I was comfortable there. I didn’t have any problem with anything or anyone there. As far as Floyd and 50 go, I’m sure things happen with everyone as human beings where we all have problems with each other at some point, but they aren’t enemies, just not on the same page business-wise,” says Vargas.
We finished up talking about other boxing topics as we moved onto the Pacquiao-Marquez fight. I asked who he was picking and why. Vargas said, “I’m rooting for Marquez, but it’s going to be a great fight. It’s so hard to choose because it’s always great competitive fight. I feel the winner will be the fighter that surprises the other fighter because they know each other well. The winner will have to do something different. I’m hoping for a knockout.” Just as a point of reference, I asked how he had the 1st 3 fights. He gave the 1st to Marquez despite getting knocked down 3 times. He gave the 2nd one to Pacquiao, and the 3rd to Marquez.
Lastly, I asked if he’ll think we’ll ever get that dream fight of Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. “I hope, I think we’re all waiting for it, Mayweather and Top Rank need to work together to make it happen, everyone wants to see it, “said Vargas.
Vargas had a final message to his fans, as he said, “Thank you guys very much for the support. Thank you to all the fans in who came out in Vegas or whoever watched it on TV. And to Team Vargas, I’m here to always try to give you a great fight, thank you.”