Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera on Dec.15
By Dan Ambrose: Jessie Vargas (27-2, 10 Kos) will reportedly be emerging from a 1-year layoff next month to face journeyman Aaron Herrera (33-7-1, 22 KOs) on December 15th at a still to be determined venue in California.
Vargas, 28, hasn’t seen action since losing to Manny Pacquiao by a 12 round unanimous decision last year on November 5, 2016. Vargas lost his WBO welterweight title in that fight to Pacquiao in losing by the scores 118-109, 118-109 and 114-113.
Vargas will likely have too much talent for Herrera to deal with in this fight. Herrera is clearly a tune-up level opponent for Vargas to get the rust out before he’s eventually matched against one of the top contenders or champions. Vargas has enough of a name to get a crack at a world title without him having to fight a talented contender the way normal fighters do.
Off and on during this year, Vargas has talked about wanting to resume his stalled career, but nothing has come of it until now. Vargas is still young enough to work his way back to a title shot against one of the champions. Vargas is currently ranked #4 WBC and #13 WBO.
It’s unlikely that Vargas will get a shot against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn though, as he’s no longer with Top Rank. If Vargas was still with them, then it would be very likely that he get a shot against the winner of the Horn vs. Terence Crawford fight once that match takes place in 2018.
Herrera, 28, has had problems in the last 5 years of his career in losing to Brandon Rios, Regis Prograis, Mike Reed, Pedro Campa, Jason Pagara, Fernando Garcia and Selcuk Aydin. Those only positive that you can get out of those fights is Herrera at least lost to good fighters with talent and boxing ability. Herrera is quite capable of beating the 2nd and 3rd fighters without any problems. Herrera was landing some good shots on Rios in their fight last summer on June 11. However, Rios nailed Herrera with a huge body shot in round 7 that put him down for the count. There would be no getting up from that shot. Rios placed it perfectly to the midsection of Herrera.
Vargas has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, and it’s clear that he’s not going to be the same fighter at 147 compared to what he was at 140. Vargas held the WBA light welterweight title from April 2014 to June 2015. He vacated the belt in order to move up to 147 and battle Timothy Bradley for the interim WBO welterweight title on June 27, 2015.
Vargas lost that fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, but he did hurt Bradley badly with a big right hand in the 12th round. What was interesting though is despite Vargas’ loss to Bradley; he was still allowed to fight Sadam Ali for the vacant World Boxing Organization title in his next fight in March 2016. Vargas beat Ali by a 9th round knockout to claim the WBO welterweight title.