20-year-old junior welterweight prospect Jesse Vargas (8-0), the jewel of Mayweather Promotions talks to BoxingScene.com about his win last Saturday over Rickey Kinney in Las Vegas on the undercard of Shumenov vs. Campillo II in this exclusive interview. Vargas also talks about his amateur career, what it's like to train with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and where he sees his career at the end of the year.
BoxingScene.com: Congratulations on the win last Saturday night. How do you grade your performance?
Jesse Vargas: I would give myself a C. Well actually a B-. I felt I could have done more. I could have moved my head a little more and outboxed him more. He had an awkward style. He was a southpaw. In the first round I was studying him. In the second round I adapted real good but I still felt I could have done more.
BoxingScene.com: He took your punches pretty well. Were you surprised he lasted 4 rounds?
Jesse Vargas: I am surprised but I think the guy had a lot of heart. I had him hurt a couple times and I thought he was going to go down but he had a lot of heart. Every time he was in trouble he fought back. I was surprised he lasted the 4 rounds.
BoxingScene.com: Do you know when you fight next?
Jesse Vargas: I spoke with my promoter right after the fight and he said we might be fighting February 26th at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles. We are trying to rack up these wins and keep learning. Every fight we want to learn something. Hopefully we will be ranked soon.
BoxingScene.com: Can you tell us a little bit about your amateur background?
Jesse Vargas: I was on the Mexcian Olympian team for 2008. I went to a couple of the eliminator bouts. We didn't go to the olympics but we got a lot of experience out of it. We fought the United States. I beat the guy I fought but I can't remember his name. As soon as I got back to Vegas I signed with Mayweather Promotions. I have known Floyd since I was a kid. I have known him since I was 8 years old and started boxing. As soon as I came back he signed me and we have been trying to rack up these wins.
BoxingScene.com: How does it feel to be the biggest prospect under Mayweather Promotions?
Jesse Vargas: It feels good. We have a good team put together. We have Buzz Edwards and Roger Mayweather training me. Mayweather is my trainer and Edwards is the second trainer. Floyd has taken care of me real good. We have a good bond between us.
BoxingScene.com: What have you learned from just watching Floyd train and spar in the gym?
Jesse Vargas: As soon as he steps in the ring I make sure I pay attention. I like to learn as much as I can. He is one of the greatest boxers out there so I make sure to pay attention to his strengths and techniques. When he is there sometimes he comes just to keep an eye on me and make sure I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. He also comes in and corrects me a lot. Roger Mayweather is my trainer but I always have Buzz Edwards and Floyd behind me as well.
BoxingScene.com: Besides Floyd what other boxers did you look up to when you were coming up through the amateurs?
Jesse Vargas: A lot of them actually. I have a lot because I like different techniques. For instance I like Floyd Mayweather because he is a counter puncher. I get something out of that. Julio Cesar Chavez I liked a lot. He was a fighter plain and simple. I always try to switch. I try to box then I just try to fight. I try to have a little bit of everything so I am ready for any opponent. I also liked Oscar De la Hoya. He was a great fighter. Those three are my top guys I would say. Each guy had a different technique which I fell in love with.
BoxingScene.com: You are 8-0 now. If you had a crystal ball where do you see yourself at the end of the year?
Jesse Vargas: By the end of year I can't really say. I am leaving it in God's hands. What I do want though is to be ranked by the end of the year. I want to be known and hopefully loved by the boxing fans. That is my goal and what I want. I am working hard in order to do that. Hopefully I can be ranked in the top 10 and hopefully the fans can fall in love with me as they did with Julio Cesar Chavez.
BoxingScene.com: Give us your thoughts on the Mayweather vs. Mosley fight. I know you are obviously biased but how do you think it will play out?
Jesse Vargas: I think it will be a good fight. I think we have the pound for pound best with Floyd and with Mosley he has a lot of experience and has fought great fighters. I am going for Floyd no doubt about it and hopefully he gets the win. I think it will be a good fight and Floyd will get the win.
BoxingScene.com: Do you have a message for the fans?
Jesse Vargas: Keep an eye on me. I want to give the fans great fights. I will do everything I can to give the fans great fights. Hopefully they will support me and fall in love with me and my style.
Send questions or comments to [email protected]