Who should Jessie Vargas fight next?
By Justin Estuart: Jessie “The Pride of Las Vegas” Vargas (29–3–2, 11 KOs), now 31 years old, is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision loss to former four-division champion, Mikey Garcia (40–1, 30 KOs) on February 29, 2020, at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
With that being said, a return to the boxing ring in 2021 should be on the horizon for Jessie Vargas. In fact, Vargas has shared the ring with highly acclaimed names such as Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley Jr, Mikey Garcia, and Adrien Broner.
Yet for Vargas, the goal is to go back to the drawing board and aspire to compete for a world championship opportunity. At 31, Vargas needs to prove that there is still plenty left in his tank for his boxing career.
Let’s discuss three possible opponents:
A fight with former WBO Super-Welterweight titleholder, Liam Smith (29–2–1, 16 KOs) would be a solid move for Vargas, especially within the 154-pound division. Vargas vs Smith is a matchup of two distinct orthodox stance fighters. In spite of this, both men are aligned under the Matchroom Boxing banner.
Furthermore, the contest has been discussed often within the past two years. Overall, it would be a good comeback fight for Vargas who has not fought in almost a year.
2. Danny Garcia
A bout with Danny “Swift” Garcia (36–3, 21 KOs) would be intriguing at 154 lbs. Similar to Vargas’ outcome from his previous fight, Danny Garcia is coming off a lackluster unanimous decision defeat to unified IBF and WBC welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr (26–0, 21 KOs) on December 5, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Even though both boxers are coming off losses, Vargas vs D. Garcia would exhibit an ideal bounce-back moment for the victor. On the contrary, both have desired to make the move towards the 154-pound division after a multitude of fights within the 147-pound division.
Despite the losses, a victory over D. Garcia would establish a credible name on his resume and perhaps even elevate world title shots for Vargas. Altogether, a fight of this magnitude is not a walkover for either fighter, but it would provide a statement debut at the super-welterweight division.
3. Jaime Munguia
Is this déjà vu? A contest against the young and undefeated former WBO 154-pound champion, Jaime Munguia (36–0, 29 KOs) was on the verge of happening until negotiations fell apart back in 2019.
A Vargas vs Munguia could be a fight that can be revisited if both men continue to not grasp a chance with a current champion. Although both fighters are not holding any world titles at the moment, this is a fight that can happen to settle the bad blood.
Should this fight transpire, it would entail a match between two Mexican fighters at a likely catchweight somewhere, between 154–160 lbs. For Vargas, a win over Munguia would surely be a major accomplishment and put him back to the top. Until then, we shall see.
All in all, it is a continuous journey for Jessie Vargas towards getting in there with the best available opposition. Whether it is a move to the 154 or 160-pound division, Vargas yearns to move outside of the 147-pound class. Regardless of the criticisms and defeats on his resume, Vargas is motivated to get back stronger upon his ring return.
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