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Jessie Vargas wants Mikey Garcia fight at CATCHWEIGHT between 147 and 154

Image: Jessie Vargas wants Mikey Garcia fight at CATCHWEIGHT between 147 and 154

By Dan Ambrose:  Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) wants a catchweight between 147 and 154 for his possible fight against newly signed Matchroom Boxing fighter Mikey Garcia on February 29 LIVE on DAZN. Vargas, 30, is the leading candidate to get the fight against former four division world champion Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) on that date.

Mikey signed a one-fight deal plus an option with promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing USA company. Garcia is reportedly getting a big $7 million for the deal, which is obviously a lot of money, whether he faces Vargas or not. For that kind of money, Mikey should be fighting a big name at 147.

Jessie Vargas wants catchweight for Mikey fight

Hearn still hasn’t named the opponent for the recently turned 32-year-old Garcia, but Vargas reveals that it’s him. The former two division world champion Vargas doesn’t want to have to melt all the way down to 147, given that he’s now competing at junior middleweight.

Vargas chose not to fight in December because he wanted to available to negotiate a fight against Mikey.

“We still need to have that conversation to see what weight the fight would be confirmed at,” Vargas said to “It’s still in negotiation…the 154-pound division is what I have my eye on. I am open to negotiating a catch weight, and that’s where we are at the moment.”

Will Mikey insist on fight taking place at 147?

It’ll be interesting to see what Vargas chooses to do if Mikey uses his A-side position to insist on the fight taking place at 147. From Mikey’s perspective, he’s going to be at a big disadvantage against Vargas even if the fight takes place at 147. But it’ll be worse if he agrees to face Vargas at a catchweight of 150 lbs, because he doesn’t have the size to be fighting someone as big as him.

Vargas looked like a middleweight in his last fight at junior middleweight. Mikey could be in trouble if he doesn’t get Vargas to agree to face him at 147 or below.

Jessie’s last fight was at 150 1/2 pound catchweight against Humberto Soto on April 26, and stopped him in the 6th round in Inglewood, California. That was an odd pick by Hearn to match the 5’11” Vargas for his first fight at junior middleweight. If you’re going to move up to 154, it makes no sense to drag out 39-year-old former super featherweight champion Soto for you to fight.

You can argue that Vargas has still yet to fight for the first time at 154. If Vargas faces little Mikey Garcia at 150, he still won’t have faced a true junior middleweight. What’s the point of Vargas moving up to 154 if he’s going to be matched repeatedly against fighters from 3 to 4 divisions below that weight class.

Vargas will be in shock when he eventually faces a real junior middleweight like Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Tony Harrison or Julian Williams. Vargas won’t do well against those fighters. Heck, he couldn’t even beat Adrien Broner or Thomas Dulrome. Vargas fought to a 12 round draw against both of those fighters in 2018, and he looked bad.

Garcia’s low punch output will limit his effectiveness

Mikey has the wrong fighting style to take on a guy like Vargas, as he would need a high volume punching style to guarantee a win. As we saw in Garcia’s last fight against Errol Spence Jr. last March, his power didn’t carry up with him to 147. Mikey fought like he normally does in throwing very punches, but his power had absolutely no effect on Spence.

When Mikey fought at 126, 130 and 135, he would hurt his opponents with his power, and he was able to get away with having a low punch output. He can’t do that at 147, considering that his power is lacking for this weight class. If Mikey can’t improve his power, he’s going to keep losing at 147, and up with his career imploding.

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