By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas has 4 weeks to go before they face each other on February 29 on DAZN at The Ford Center at The Star, in Frisco, Texas. This is arguably a pay-per-view worthy card, but the main event is a little shaky.
The only thing we can hope for in his card is that the fights are competitive. Garcia-Vargas should be an interesting fight, especially with Vargas having a huge size advantage.
This is an interesting card with compelling undercard fights involving the exciting WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez defending against Jay Harris, and WBA World super flyweight champion Kal Yafai facing former 4-division and #1 pound-for-pound king Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
There’s a little something for everybody in this card. If the headliner fight between former four division world champion Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) and former 2 division champion Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) fails to live up to expectations, then there’s a chance the Martinez-Harris or the Yafai-Chocolatito fights will be a thrill a minute.
In addition to those fights, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will be on the undercard against an opponent still to be determined.
Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Jay Harris
This match could run a course similar to Martinez’s recent bludgeoning of former WBC 112-lb champion Charlie Edwards. Martinez crushed the light hitting Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs) in stopping him in 3 rounds last August. However, Edwards failed to get back to his feet after Martinez (15-1, 12 KOs) hit him with a shot to the body after knocking him down in the third round.
The fight result was then changed from KO 3 in favor of Martinez to no contest. Some believe that Edwards intentionally used the situation to get out of the fight, as he was getting pounded by Martinez. The fight wasn’t even slightly competitive.
It was a mismatch from the word go, with Martinez hitting a near defenseless Edwards with everything but the kitchen sink. Jay Harris (17-0, 9 KOs) is a similar fighter as Edwards. He lacks pop in his punches, and he’s going to have problems trying to keep Martinez off of him.
If Harris had some power, this would be an interesting fight, but unfortunately he doesn’t. Martinez was hurt at one point in his last fight against Cristofer Rosales on December 20th last year. However, Martinez wore Rosales down until the fight had to be stopped in the 9th.
Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas
Vargas has done very little with his career since losing his WBO welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in 2016.
What some fans wonder is whether the nice money that Vargas made in the Pacquiao fight took his hunger in the same way that former heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr. lost his motivation after getting a taste of the big money in his first fight with Anthony Joshua in 2019.
All we know is Vargas looks like a shell of his former self since his fight with Pacquiao, and he’s not been busy like he once was with his career. Vargas has fought just 4 times in the last 4 years.
Jessie got a big payday in that fight, and then took a year off from boxing afterwards. Since then, Vargas has had a couple of draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme, and beaten journeyman Aaron Herrera and 39-year-old Humberto Soto.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 1, 2020
Kal Yafai vs. Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez
WBA Super World super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (26-0, 15 Kos) faces Nicaraguan Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (48-2, 40 KOs) in a fight that should tell us how much the 32-year-old Gonzalez has left in his career. Chocolatito looked poor in his two defeats against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras at 115.
Those guys had too much size and power for Chocolatito to dominate them like he’d done at 105, 108 and 112. Yafai is a good fighter, but not on the same level as Rungvisai, and not the slugger that Cuadras was when Roman fought him in 2016.
If Gonzalez is 75% of what he used to be, he likely wins this one going away. Yafai is a decent talent, but clearly flawed in a major way. Hearn talks about Yafai like he’s destined for greatness, but he does that about his fighters in his Matchroom stable.