After a very slow February, boxing fans will be treated to an abundance of fights on both premium networks HBO and Showtime. Although it isn’t the main event on either network, the vacant WBO welterweight title fight between Jessie Vargas and Sadam Ali is the most anticipated bout of this jam-packed Saturday. It is the fight that has all fight fans choosing sides.
But the notion that this is a hardcore’s delight is fairly off basis for a few reasons. Of course, Vargas has been in the ring with Timothy Bradley which comes with a certain amount of spotlight exposure. After all, assuming things go according to plan, roughly by this time next month Bradley will be a three-time Manny Pacquiao opponent.
Ali is aware of how big this opportunity is fighting a guy like Vargas for that illustrious world title he’s craved his entire career.
“I’m excited about this opportunity, WBO world title. I’ve been in the gym, I’ve always been ready. I’m just ready to go out there and get what’s mine,” Vargas told Thaboxingvoice’s Nestor Gibbs.
Although Ali holds some credible wins sprinkled throughout his resume, Vargas represents the best and most significant opponent he’ll have faced thus far. And with the boxing world eagerly anticipating this fight, it is, at least, fair to question the Brooklyn native’s readiness for the bright lights, which have stymied young fighters in this same position. But the 27-year-old says the jitters will work in his favor.
“There’s no stopping being nervous for me and I don’t want to not be nervous. You should be nervous. Some people say ‘I don’t get nervous.’ If you don’t get nervous, to me, I don’t think it’s good. I feel you should get nervous. I get a little nervous, but it’s not nerves that can mess me up in the ring.”
The winner of this fight is put into a position to fight the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley, assuming, of course, you don’t believe one of the main narratives in the promotion that says this is Pacquiao’s last fight. More feasible is the winner of Vargas-Ali fighting Bradley next. After all, Bradley gave up the very same belt Vargas and Ali are fighting for and it is rational to assume that Bradley will want his title back, especially if he loses to Pacquiao.
If Bradley wins then it would make even more sense for the fighters involved to conclude a mini tournament between the winner of Vargas-Ali.
Vargas has made it clear that he wants to avenge his loss to Bradley, especially when you consider his feelings regarding his near 12th round heroics where he badly hurt Bradley but was somewhat hindered in a full attempt at fulfilling the moment.
Ali was in line to fight Bradley in the past, but the fight never came to fruition. Now, Ali says he is open to the bout following what he considers a fulfillment of his world title destiny tonight.
When asked about his desire to meet the Pacquiao-Bradley winner, Ali responded by saying, “It’s possible, who knows? We’ll wait and see. I welcome any plan God has in store for me.”