Jessie Vargas predicts KO over Liam Smith on Saturday

By Boxing News - 04/27/2022 - Comments

By Jack Tiernan: Former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas predicts a knockout over highly ranked #4 WBO 154-lb contender Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith this Saturday, April 30th, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Vargas vs. Smith will be meeting in a 12-round co-feature spot on the undercard of Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano live on DAZN. The main card begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The 32-year-old Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) is coming off a 26-month layoff since his 12-round majority loss to Mikey Garcia in February 2020.

Vargas & ‘Beefy’ Smith (30-3, 17 KOs) was supposed to fight last February, but Jessie became ill with COVID-19, making it necessary for the contest to be postponed until now.

It’s unclear why the popular former 140 & 147-lb world champion Vargas has been out of the ring for over two years, but it reflects how his career has stalled since his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2016.

In the last six years since Jessie’s loss to Pacquiao, he’s only fought five times, shockingly low for a fighter with his large fan base.

Despite his inactivity, Vargas has made a lot of money in his 14-year professional career. According to Sportekz, Vargas’ net worth is $8.5 million. With that kind of fortune, it’s not surprising that Vargas fights infrequently.

Liam Smith is coming off an exciting eighth-round knockout over Anthony Fowler last October. Smith, 33, cannot afford to lose to Vargas if he wants to stay in the running for a world title shot against the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano undisputed clash.

Full card for Saturday’s DAZN event:

  • Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano
  • Jessie Vargas vs. Liam Smith
  • Franchon Crews Dezurn vs. Elin Cederroos
  • Galal Yafai vs. Miguel Cartagena
  • Reshat Mati vs. Joe Eli Hernandez
  • Khalil Coe vs. William Langston
  • Austin Williams vs. Chordale Booker
  • Skye Nicolson vs. Shanecqua Paisley Davis

“I’m going to win by a knockout. That’s what I’ve prepared for, and that’s what’s going to happen,” said Jessie Vargas to iFL TV, predicting a stoppage over Liam Smith on Saturday.

“When you look at previous fights, it shows that punches hurt him, and he wants to back away. He’s definitely going to be doing a lot of that come Saturday night,” Jessie said of Smith.

“He’s basic, he’s fired me up, talked a lot of trash, and I’m not a fan of that,” Vargas continued talking about his fight with Liam.

“I feel like he disrespected me, and now I’m ready to shut him up. Come Saturday night; I’m going to defeat him. Listen, I have a strategy, I have talent, and I’m going to showcase all that talent on Saturday.

“A win over Liam Smith will continue my success and my path of moving forward, which will lead me to bigger & better fights. This is my first official fight at 154.

“I want to become world champion again, and I will become world champion again. There are plenty of opponents that will want to fight against a fighter like me,” said Vargas.

YouTube video