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Tim Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas on June 27th at StubHub, Carson, California

Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: #1 WBO, #3 IBF, #5 WBC, #6 WBA welterweight contender Tim Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs) will be fighting WBA World light welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs) on June 27th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Vargas, 25, will be moving up to 147 to take the fight against the former two division world champion Bradley in this fight. The fight will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing.

This fight isn’t surprising because both Bradley and Vargas are with Top Rank, and the head of the company Bob Arum likes to have a lot of in house fights. For instance, Bradley has already fought the Top Rank promoted Manny Pacquiao twice.

It’s very likely that we’ll see Bradley back in with Pacquiao in 2016 if he can get past Vargas on June 27th. Arum doesn’t have a lot of options for Pacquiao and Bradley in his stable, and it seems pretty clear we’re going to see them fight again. We could also see Brandon Rios back in with Pacquiao as well in the near future.

You have to question whether Bradley-Vargas was the best fight out there for Bradley in Arum’s Top Rank stable. It would seem like the much better fight would be Bradley vs. Rios. There would arguably be a lot more interest in a fight between Rios and Bradley than there will be for Bradley vs. Vargas. But in looking at it from Arum’s perspective, he’s got two fighters in Rios and Bradley who can generate a fair amount of interest each time they fight.

If he puts them in with each other, he’ll see one of them get beaten and likely lose some of his fan appeal. But by putting Bradley in with a guy who isn’t as popular like Vargas, Bradley can beat Vargas without him Arum losing anything because of Vargas not being a huge draw.

Bradley recently fought a 12 round draw against Diego Chaves last December in a fight that many boxing fans felt that Bradley should have won. Whether you agreed with that or not, what you can’t disagree with was that Bradley did not look good in that fight. Chaves was able to land his big power shots all throughout the fight and had Bradley on the run in the last six rounds.

The 31-year-old Bradley badly faded in the last six rounds, and was unable to stand his ground and fight. It was good that Chaves wasn’t on the losing end of another controversial fight because he was arguably robbed in his previous fight against Rios last year in August when the referee Vic Drakulich halted the fight in the 9th round and disqualified Chaves for him throwing an elbow to the face of Rios. In looking at that fight in slow motion, I saw no elbow being thrown by Chaves at all. What I did see was that he was ahead in the fight against the A-side Rios with just a round to go, and he had an excellent chance of beating Rios. The DQ stoppage basically saved Rios from getting beaten by Chaves.

“Sitting here at Cosmo with @Timbradleyjr & @Jessie_vargasJV interviewing them. They will fight June 27 on @HBOboxing at StubHub. #boxing,” Dan Rafael said on his twitter.

Vargas is no stranger to controversial decisions himself, as he was given a controversial 12 round decision win over Anton Novikov last year in August on the same card as Rios’ controversial win over Chaves. Many boxing fans felt that Novikov did enough to deserve a decision win over Vargas. What a nightmare card that was. Rios and Vargas, the A-side fighters, given controversial wins over the B-side guys Chaves and Novikov.

Since his ‘win’ over Novikov, Vargas has a 12 round decision win over Antonio DeMarco last November. It was a closer than expected fight, as Vargas won by a 116-112 score on all three of the judges’ scorecards. DeMarco is the same guy that Adrien Broner destroyed in eight rounds in 2012. Vargas captured the WBA 140 pound title with a 12 round decision over former WBA champ Khabib Allakhverdiev last year in April.

If Vargas defeats Bradley in this fight in June it’s likely we’ll see Vargas getting a shot at Pacquiao in the near future. Like I said, they running out of guys in the Top Rank stable to put in with Pacquiao. If Arum matches Vargas up against Pacquiao, it will potentially increase Vargas’ value with the company like it did with Bradley and Rios. Since Vargas has a lot more time left in his pro career than Pacquiao, it makes sense for Arum to match Vargas against Pacquiao before the Filipino fighter retires in order to increase Vargas’ value.

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