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Kell Brook vs. Jessie Vargas negotiations underway for April 6

Jessie Vargas Kell Brook

By Trevor McIntyre: Former two division world champion Jessie Vargas says negotiations have already started for a fight between him and former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook for April 6. If the Brook vs. Vargas fight takes place, it would be shown on Matchroom Boxing on DAZN in the United States, and possibly on Sky in the UK.

The fight is still not official though, but the 29-year-old Vargas is optimistic that it will take place on the 6th of April.

It’s unknown why Brook, 32, would want to fight Vargas, as he was supposed to be fighting at 154 and going after all the top dogs in that division. Brook moved up in weight alright, but he’s been facing tune-up level opposition in Sergey Rabchenko and Michael Zerafa. Brook is winning, but he’s not facing the top fighters – Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Tony Harrison and Jaime Munguia – that the boxing public expected him to fight.

“I guess you got the inside [information,” Vargas said to esnewsreporting about negotiations taking place between his management and Kell Brook’s promoters for a fight between them on April 6. “It is a fight that is being negotiated now,” Vargas said.

It’s disappointing to see how far Brook has dropped since his losses to Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin. Instead of looking to face the best, Brook has been putting his career in a giant stall for the past year, facing weak opposition while he waits for the big payday fight against Amir Khan. That fight was supposed to take April or May, but Khan went in the direction of a fight with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Khan and Brook will likely still meet up at some point after a fight or two.

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn signed former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith last week to a three-fight deal. The addition of Liam was believed to be done so that Matchroom could put him and Brook in together for an in house fight, and so that Kell would have a beatable opponent to fight while he waits for Khan. But with Hearn negotiating a fight between Brook and Vargas, it suggests that he doesn’t want to take the risk of Kell losing to Smith. Just based on the sparring Brook and Smith did with one another three years ago, it’s not a guarantee that Kell would win that fight. He might lose, which could be the reason why Matchroom is looking to negotiate a fight between Brook and Vargas. It’s a far winnable fight for Brook than a match against Smith.

Earlier on Monday, former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan told Sky Sports News that they’ve made an offer to Matchroom for a fight between Horn and Brook. However, it doesn’t look like Matchroom wants to make that fight. Like with the Smith fight, it’s possible that Matchroom views Horn as too risky of a fight for Brook. They need Brook to win for sure so that he stays in good shape for his fight with Khan in the second half of 2019. Horn would have a very good chance of beating Brook with the way he looked in his last fight against Michael Zerafa last month on December 8.

“I feel the same way [that he’ll beat Brook],” Vargas said. “The fans are really going to be surprised what they see on April 6th. That’s the day we’re talking about fighting. I sure hope that it is. The sooner the better. I’m looking forward to coming back in the best shape of my life. I want to give them the best Jessie Vargas come April 6th. At least the best Jessie Vargas they’ve seen to this day. I’m definitely working hard to give them the best of me. I believe they’re going to be surprised what they see April 6th,” Vargas said.

Brook vs. Vargas is an easy fight for Hearn to make. It would be in house fight for Matchroom, but it likely wouldn’t attract much interest from the U.S boxing fans. Hearn signed Vargas thinking he would bring in the ratings and subscribers on DAZN, but his last two fights against Dulorme and Broner showed that he lacks the talent to beat the fringe contenders in the welterweight division. With Vargas’ record a poor 2-2-2 in his last six fights, he doesn’t have the talent to attract a lot of interest in the States in a fight between him and Brook. Besides that, the U.S casual boxing fans have no idea who Brook is.

Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) hasn’t won a fight in over a year since beating journeyman Aaron Herrera in December 2017. Vargas’ last two fights against Thomas Dulorme and Adrien Broner have resulted in 12 round draws. Vargas was lucky not to lose both of them, because he was seen as the loser in those fights by a lot of boxing fans.

Kell, let’s give the fans what they want to see,” Vargas said.

Hearn hasn’t done much with Brook’s career since he started promoting him years ago. Brook only has one big win during his entire career against Shawn Porter. Brook has lost to Spence and Golovkin, and wasted time with soft fights against Kevin Bizier, Alvaro Robles, Frankie Gavin, Sergey Rabchenko, Carson Jones, Michael Zerafa, Hector Saldivia, Jo Jo Dan and Matthew Hatton. The training wheels have not come off of Brook, whose career has floundered. In hindsight, Hearn should have never put Brook in with Golovkin in 2016. That was a bad fight to put him in. Hearn should have let Chris Eubank Jr. take that fight with GGG. Those two were in negotiations. Hearn suddenly switched things up and quickly negotiated a fight between Brook and Golovkin, and that match ended badly for Kell. He suffered a fractured eye socket, and his career hasn’t been the same ever since.

“It’s not official,” Vargas said.

As depleted as Vargas looked against Dulorme and Broner, he’ll have a decent chance of beating Brook if he can put pressure on him, and fight hard for 12 rounds. Vargas gassed out in the second half of his fights with Dulorme and Broner though. If he fades against Brook, he’ll get stopped. Brook is a true junior middleweight, but he’s fought most of his career at 147 by boiling down in weight to fight against smaller guys. It’s interesting that Brook doesn’t want to face guys his own size like Charlo, Hurd, Harrison and Munguia. You would think that he would be ready finally to facing guys in his true weight class, but it looks like he’s going to stay at welterweight until the bitter end.

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