Kell Brook and Jessie Vargas progressing to contract, says Hearn
By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn says his fighter IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and WBO belt holder Jessie Vargas have agreed to terms to a fight for August and are ready to go to contract to get the fight done. Brook and Vargas will be fighting in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, UK. This is a fight that Brook and Hearn wanted because he’s looking to capture more world titles in the 147lb division.
The idea is likely that by beating Vargas, who is highly vulnerable, it will help make it easier for Brook to get fights against other welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. Personally, I think Brook will take the Danny Garcia fight if he can get it, but he’ll drag his feet when it comes to fighting Thurman. That’s a fight I don’t see Brook or Hearn going for. The same with a fight against Errol Spence. I don’t see Hearn and Brook ever agreeing to that fight either.
“We have agreed terms so to speak and are now progressing to contract,” said Hearn via Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “Obviously not done until it’s signed, but things are looking very good.”
It’s actually pretty surprising that Vargas and his promoters at Top Rank have agreed to fight Brook in the UK, because that’s not a move that I would give a green light to if I were the promoter for Vargas. Unless he twisted my arm to take the fight with Brook in the UK, I’d be blocking that fight all the way if it meant that he’d have to go to the UK to fight him. The last thing that a light hitter like Vargas needs is to be in a spot where he might need a KO to make sure he gets the victory.
It might not be easy for Vargas to get a decision win with him making the decision to fight in Brook’s hometown. Unless Hearn was willing to pay a TON of money for Vargas to come over to the UK to put his title on the line, I wouldn’t do it. The scenario I see happening is Vargas either losing a controversial decision or getting sparked out. If he gets knocked out, then that’s not a problem. But if he loses a controversial decision, he’ll be bellyaching about it like he’s been doing about the Tim Bradley fight ever since he was beaten by him last year. That fight ended with some controversy with the referee halting the fight 10 seconds early because he got confused and thought the fight was over. Vargas had hurt Bradley moments earlier and had him staggering.
The controversial ending gave Vargas the voice to complain about the outcome, even though he’d been dominated for 11 ½ rounds. It was one of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez type fights where Vargas was totally schooled until the last seconds of the 12th round, when Bradley got careless and was clipped. I can’t see a rematch being any different except that Bradley probably won’t get caught in the 12th. Vargas is a limited fighter, and won’t do well against Brook.
“I’m looking forward to giving my fans a great fight and bringing two titles back home,” Vargas said to ESPN.com. “At the same time, I am hoping to make new fans in the U.K. My team and I will start preparing to KO Brook.”
Hearn wants the Brook vs. Vargas unification fight to take place at either the end of August or the first week of September at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. The seating capacity is 32,700 fans. I can’t imagine the fight selling that many tickets. I hope Hearn hasn’t overestimated the amount of interest in this fight. I mean, we’re not talking about a fight between Brook and a talent like Gennady Golovkin. Don’t laugh. Brook recently said he’d be interested in fighting Golovkin at a catch-weight. However, when Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler said he’d be interested in matching Golovkin against Brook if he and Hearn were serious, he was met by silence. A fight between Brook and Golovkin would likely sellout Bramall Lane.
I don’t see Brook vs. Vargas being a big enough fight to sellout a stadium. Vargas is a decent fighter that was whipped badly by Bradley, and arguably lost to Khabib Allakhverdiev in April 2014 and Anton Novikov in August 2014. A lot of boxing fans saw Vargas losing to both of those guys. Vargas barely beat Antonio DeMarco in November 2014. We’re talking about a very, very flawed fighter in Vargas.
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