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Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas at 144lb catch-weight on Apr.21

Image: Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas at 144lb catch-weight on Apr.21

By Dan Ambrose: Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner will be fighting at a 144 pound catch-weight against former 2 division world champion Jessie Vargas on April 21 in their head-liner fight on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays center in Brooklyn, New York. The Broner vs. Vargas card on April 21 has a start time of 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) was scheduled to fight Omar Figueroa Jr. on April 21, but he dropped out because of a shoulder injury. Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) was available to step in and replace Figueroa. The 144 lb. catch-weight isn’t too bad for Broner and Vargas. Broner has a hard time making 140 as it is, and Vargas typically weighs in at 146 for his fights at welterweight. Broner-Vargas is part of a tripleheader on Showtime on April 21. The other 2 fights are Jermall Charlo vs. Hugo Centeno Jr. fighting for the interim WBC middleweight title and Geronta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Jesus Cuellar fighting for the WBA Super World super featherweight title.

“I’m excited that this is an even bigger fight than Figueroa,” said Broner. “We’re fighting at 144 pounds, so he’ll have a slight weight advantage, but it won’t matter. I know what I have to do at the end of the day to get back on top where I belong.”

Broner doesn’t belong at welterweight. Whatever the outcome is in the Vargas fight, it’s not going to bring Broner back to the top of 147. He doesn’t have the speed, power and size to beat the best at 147. That’s already been established in the past in Broner’s losses to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana. At 140, Broner will have his hands full trying to get back to the top in that weight class. There are some good fighters in the 140 lb. division now like Jose Carlos Ramirez, Regis Prograis, Terry Flanagan, Rances Barthelemy, Kiryl Relikh, Viktor Postol, Amir Imam and Sergey Lipinets. Broner might not be good enough to beat any of them. We already saw Broner lose a 12 round unanimous decision to Mikey Garcia last year in July. Mikey will be fighting for the IBF light welterweight title this Saturday night against Lipinets.

Broner vs. Vargas won’t have a world title on the line for their fight in the main event, as there aren’t any vacant belts available. The World Boxing Council sometimes hasn’t come forward yet to volunteer one of their specially made event titles. Broner-Vargas is not that kind of a fight that would warrant for the WBC to put up a commemorative strap for the two guys to fight over.

Vargas is trying to rebuild his career after a loss to Manny Pacquiao. Vargas won his last fight in beating Aaron Herrera by a 10 round decision last December, but he’s a long ways off from getting back to world championship level status. Vargas lost his WBO 147 lb. title to Pacquiao, and he recently returned to the ring after taking it easy for a year.

Charlo-Centeno Jr. is a good fight between two big punchers. Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) will be fighting for the second time since moving up to the middleweight division last year after he previously held the IBF 154 lb. belt from 2015 to 2017. Charlo vacated the IBF belt last year and moved up in weight to middleweight and defeated #1WBC Jorge Sebastian Heiland by a 4th round knockout last July to become the mandatory challenger to WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Centeno Jr. has done a good job of bouncing back from a 10th round knockout loss to Maciej Sulecki in June 2016. The 27-year-old Centeno Jr. has won his last 2 fights in beating Ronald Montes and Immanuwel Aleem by stoppages. Those guys aren’t on the same level as Charlo though. If Centeno Jr. is going to win this fight against Charlo, then he’s going to need to look a lot better than he has recently.

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