Advertisement
Advertisement

Francisco Vargas Ready For Step Up Versus Juanma Lopez

By Jake Donovan

You can say that securing Francisco Vargas his biggest fight to date was truly a family affair.

The unbeaten super featherweight prospect once again steps up in class, as he takes on former two-division champ Juan Manuel Lopez on July 12 in Las Vegas. The scheduled 10-round fight serves in supporting capacity to a pay-per-view headliner between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.

The lure of fighting on a major card is normally motivation enough for a fighter to accept a bold challenge. It’s usually differing agendas among key team members that lead to necessary fights not happening, but that was never a concern for Vargas, whose manager and promoter happen to be a pair of brothers who get along very well and see eye to eye on all boxing matters.

“This fight was easy to convince (Vargas) to take,” admits Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, with whom Vargas signed in 2010 following a run with the 2008 Mexico Olympic Boxing team. “Francisco is a fighter who has the amateur experience. He’s stepping up in competition and moving in the right direction. It was a fight he jumped on right away.”

Vargas (19-0-1, 13KO) has been on a roll since turning pro, scoring impressive wins in three straight step-up fights heading into the July 12 showdown with Lopez. His most recent performance also came on the undercard of an Alvarez-headlined pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, scoring a 10-round decision over Abner Cotto this past March.

The win came on the heels of his shutout over Jerry Belmontes last December and a landslide win over previously unbeaten Brandon Bennett before that. The 29-year old Mexican boxer has quickly advanced in the rankings as a result, with a win over Lopez possibly leading to a shot at a major title in his very next fight.

“This is a great step for my kid,” acknowledges Joel de la Hoya. “This fight is the resurrection of Juanma versus the step up for Francisco. It comes on a great stage. You couldn’t ask for a better platform for this fight.”

One week after Vargas outpointed Cotto in Las Vegas, Lopez (34-3, 31KO) resurrected his free-falling career with a 2nd round knockout win over Daniel Ponce de Leon.

The win came after a collective gasp when Lopez – who was stopped in four rounds by Mikey Garcia in his previous fight – was down in the opening round of their super featherweight bout. The Puerto Rican southpaw dusted himself off, however, and came back to drop and eventually stop Ponce de Leon in the next round for his second in win in as many fights in their rivalry.

Lopez has been stopped in all three of his career losses. The flip side of that, however, is that he’s never lost a decision. On the rare occasions in which his fights go to the scorecards, Lopez is 3-0. The last such occasion came way back in Oct. ’09, barely outlasting Rogers Mtagwa in his final fight as a super bantamweight.

Two weight classes later, Lopez is still capable of closing the show at a moment’s notice.

“One thing with Juanma, he has that power,” Joel de la Hoya acknowledges. “That’s the last thing to go on a fighter. Vargas has all of the tools to beat him. He has to take it from him.”

For what it’s worth, the rising prospect seems up to the task.

“I know he boasts a lot of experience and is a great fighter,” Vargas realizes. “That’s why we’re working hard. A victory here will get me a world title.”

Golden Boy is angling for the winner to secure a shot at a 130 lb. title, though confirmed that the fight itself is not a sanctioned eliminator.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by dinero fan on 06-20-2014

It's now or never for Vargas he ain't getting any younger.

Comment by BigTasty on 06-20-2014

I like to see this match up, Vargas throws like 100 a round or something close but doesnt have anywhere near the pop Juanma has.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jarrett Hurd Drops, Stops Oscar Molina in The Tenth Round DiBella: Thurman-Porter Will Determine Mayweather's Successor PBC on NBCSN Early Results From San Antonio Daniel Jacobs Becomes The Face of Brooklyn Boxing K. Porter Doubts Impressive Win Will Secure Floyd Mayweather Video: Jarrett Hurd, Oscar Molina Discuss Their Showdown Anthony Joshua Beats Down, Knocks Breazeale Out in Seven Thurman vs. Porter LIVE Results From Brooklyn Jack Obermayer, Legendary Award Winning Scribe Passes Away Mikey Garcia-Elio Rojas Set For Santa-Frampton on 7/30 George Groves Powers Past Martin Murray For Decision Win Video: Bob Arum on Thurman vs. Porter, Crawford, More Eubank Jr. Warns Gennady Golovkin: - I'm Coming For You! Thurman vs. Porter on CBS: CompuBox Historical Review Eubank Jr. Drops Doran Four Times For TKO, Golovkin Next? Conor Benn With Brutal First Round Knockout of Lukas Radic Dillian Whyte Knocks Out Ivica Bacurin in Six Rounds Anthony Joshua: I Need To Break Dominic Breazeale Right Down Porter: Won’t Be a Brook Performance From Me; I Want Rematch Breazeale To Anthony Joshua: There is a New Lion in Town Photos: Jason Sosa Gets Off The Deck, Stops Javier Fortuna Joshua-Breazeale on Showtime: CompuBox Historical Review Felix Cash, Anthony Ogogo, Andrea Scarpa, Kal Yafai Win at O2 Eubank: Is Golovkin Ready To Step Up? Fight Someone Not Scared! Frank Warren Tabs Andre Ward To Overcome Sergey Kovalev Oscar Molina, Jarrett Hurd Aim to Make Most of Surprise CBS Slot Porter: Fighting Me Will Be A Shock To Keith Thurman's System Arum: Ramirez Confident of What He Can Do Against Golovkin Frank Warren To Hearn: Joshua is Number 1? Let Him Prove It! Daily Bread Mailbag: Danny Garcia, Lomachenko, Thurman, More Semajay Thomas Embraces How Boxing Changed His Life Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep Easily Stops Outmatched Opponent Parker: Soon Joshua's Confidence Will Be Tested Against Me Golovkin's Coach: We Never Asked Andre Ward For 164 Weight George Groves Entering Last-Chance Saloon Against Murray LaRon Mitchell Stops Epifanio Mendoza in Three Rounds Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter: Pre-Fight Report Card Ricardo Rodriguez Beats David Quijano in Boxeo Telemundo Canelo's Manager Taking Smith Serious, Expects Dangerous Fight
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement