Jessie Vargas believes he can Knockout Keith Thurman
By Jeff Aranow: Jessie Vargas is hoping that he can get a fight against WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman when he returns from his 13-month layoff to make a title defense on April 16.
Vargas’ name has been mentioned as a possibility for Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs). Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) has been working on improving his punching power with his trainer, and he thinks he now has increased his strength enough to knockout ‘One Time’ if given the chance to face him.
The 28-year-old Vargas returned from a long 1-year layoff last month to defeat journeyman Aaron Herrera by a 10 round unanimous decision on December 15 in Lancaster, California. Vargas was not able to knockout Herrera. Vargas did drop Herrera in round 6, but that was the only thing he could do. Vargas looked slow in that fight in terms of hand speed. He did now show the kind of speed that he would need to compete with a top level fighter like Thurman, who is considerably faster in hand and foot speed.
”I feel that I can beat Keith Thurman,” said Vargas to ESPN Deportes. ”I see weaknesses that I can put my strengths on and nail him.”
Vargas should probably be a little quieter about his thoughts on him being able to knockout Thurman. Vargas might scare Thurman away entirely, and wind up with nothing.
Vargas might have the power to KO Thurman, but he didn’t show it in his last fight against Herrera. Whether Vargas was intentionally holding himself back or not is unclear. If what Vargas displayed against Herrera was the best he can do, then he’ll have very little chance of beating Thurman. In fact, I’d say Vargas has no chance of beating Thurman other than if he suffers an injury that hobbles him enough to where he’s vulnerable.
Vargas has let his manager Al Haymon know that he wants to fight Thurman in April. It’s up to Thurman and Haymon to decide if they want to make the fight against Vargas. Thurman might be the one that says yes or not to a fight against him. Thurman wants an easy fight for his April match. If he decides to take the fight with Vargas, it’ll only because he believes it will be a fight that he can win with ease. Thurman is coming off of elbow surgery, and he might not want to be blocking heavy punches from a fighter like Vargas. That’s how the injury occurred in the first place with Thurman blocking hard shots from his opponents.
Vargas has been talking about how he supposedly has made adjustments to increase his power since before he fought Manny Pacquiao in 2016. We saw what Vargas’ power did in that fight. It did nothing. Pacquiao won an easy 12 round decision win.
”(Thurman) is a fight that has interested me a lot. I have expressed my interest in that fight to Al Haymon and Guadalupe Valencia and they know the fight that interests me,” said Vargas. ”They are my advisors and they make the decision. They say it is possible that the fight can happen. He [Thurman] wants to return in March or April and me too. There has been no formal offer, pure talks. I’m talking to my advisors about the next step and if possible the fight with Thurman. I have to confirm with them,” said Vargas.