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Jessie Vargas to reveal his new punching power tonight

Image: Jessie Vargas to reveal his new punching power tonightBy Allan Fox: Former WBA 140lb champion Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) will be putting his new punching power on display tonight in his fight for the vacant WBO welterweight title against Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) at the DC Armory in Washington, DC. Vargas says he’s been working on his punching power lately, and he feels that Ali is not going to want to mix it up with him for long after he finds out how hard he can hit early in their contest tonight on HBO Boxing.

Vargas’ problem in his last fight against Tim Bradley wasn’t just a lack of punching power. Vargas also failed to throw enough punches to win. He was letting Bradley outwork him in every round of the fight.

Vargas says he’s been working on throwing more punches too, and that’s something he’s going to be doing tonight. So we can expect Vargas to show an increased work rate with more punching power tonight. I’ll believe that when I see it, because it’s not easy to pick up both power and increase your work rate at the same time.

The Vargas vs. Ali fight card has a start time at 10 p.m. ET. It’s taking place on the Luis Ortiz vs. Tony Thompson card. The location of the Ortiz vs. Thompson card is at the DC Amory in Washington, DC.

“He’s a boxer that moves around and uses the ring,” Vargas said about Ali to MJ Boxing. “I’m sure he’s going to want to sit down [on his punches] for several moments until he accepts I’m the stronger fighter and says ‘you know what. I’m going to let him go. I’m just going to move around.’ It won’t be the smartest move [to slug].”

Ali, 27, isn’t the type to back off and let his opponents have their way. Vargas shouldn’t count on that kind of thing happening tonight because he could be in for a bitter surprise if he’s waiting for Ali to back off and submit. Vargas is the one that clearly backed off and gave away his last fight against Tim Bradley by not taking the fight to him, and not throwing enough punches. Vargas only fought hard in the 12th round. The rest of the rounds, he was taking it easy and just letting Bradley dominate.

Things won’t be all that bad for Vargas if he loses the fight. He’s promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank, and he likes to do a lot of in house fights with his own fighters. He also likes to do a lot of rematches. What this means is Vargas will likely be facing Tim Bradley again in the near future no matter what happens tonight in Vargas’ fight with Ali. Bradley is fighting Manny Pacquiao on April 9 next month.

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Pacquiao is expected to retire after that fight. With Pacquiao retired, Arum is going to need to have someone in his Top Rank stable that he can match against Bradley. Vargas is perfect for Arum because they already fought once last year with Bradley winning a 12 round decision, but the ending of the fight was controversial because of the referee stopping it with 10 seconds to go after Bradley had been hurt. I don’t think Vargas will do any better in a rematch with Bradley, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is Arum is almost certain to put Vargas back in with Bradley. It wouldn’t be surprising if he matches those two fighters against each other at least two more times depending on how things go in their next fight.

“It’s something we work on each fight,” Vargas said about his punching power. “You will see a difference in this fight. I’m looking forward to take that belt home to Las Vegas,” said Vargas.

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Vargas could be making a mistake by trying to slug with Ali, because he doesn’t have the power that Ali does unless he’s made major improvements in the power department in this latest training camp. You don’t normally see major jumps in punching power after a fighter hits his mid-20s like Vargas. In other words, I think Vargas is as strong as he’s ever going to be at this point in his career. If he doesn’t have punching power now, then he probably never will have it.

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