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Tim Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas official for June 27th on HBO from StubHub Center, Carson, CA

Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: In an example of Bob Arum’s mixing and matching between members of his Top Rank stable, #1 WBO welterweight contender Tim Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs) will be facing unbeaten WBA 140lb champ Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs) on June 27th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The fight will be shown on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Neither of these guys have looked good recently. Bradley is coming off of a 12 round draw against Diego Chaves in his last fight, and he looked really poor in that fight. Instead of facing Vargas, Bradley should be facing Chaves again to prove that his poor performance wasn’t just a fluke thing.

It’s not surprising that Arum is moving Bradley forward because he took a lot of heavy head shots against Chaves, the kind that deteriorate a fighter’s career. I don’t think they planned on Chaves, who was the B-side in the fight, giving Bradley so many problems. So like with Brandon Rios in his fight against Chaves, Arum is moving his pieces forward rather than having them clear up the controversy in their fights with Chaves.

Vargas’s situation isn’t much better than Bradley’s. Vargas has what many boxing fans felt was a gift 12 round decision win over Anton Novikov last year in August. Vargas struggled badly in that fight and appeared to lose by four rounds.

The fact that he didn’t fight Novikov again isn’t surprising because it would have been too risky to fight the Russian fighter a second time and risk having the judges get the scores right the second time around. Vargas didn’t look good in his wins over Antonio DeMarco and Khabib Allakhverdiev. Those should have been easy fights for Vargas but they turned out to be very, very close with him getting narrow decisions, especially against Allakhverdiev.

Bradley, 31, is in a good position to fight for the WBO welterweight title that Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently won and then vacated. If the World Boxing Organization goes by their ranking, Bradley could wind up facing the likes of #3 WBO Brandon Rios or #4 WBO Sadam Ali. #2 WBO is Juan Manuel Marquez, but he hasn’t fought in over a year due to a knee problem. I doubt that Marquez will be able to fight anytime soon.

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