By Chris Robinson
To say that Jessie Vargas’ official welterweight debut was a trying process is a bit of an understatement.
Facing off with the battle-tested and well-traveled Lanardo Tyner at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Showtime’s airwaves this past weekend, Vargas had to endure ten rounds full of fierce in-fighting, a little mockery from his opponent, and a bit of fouling as well.
When all was said and done, Vargas came away from the fight with a few lessons learned from another seasoned vet as the the 99-91 scorecards across the board help him raise his record to 18-0 with nine knockouts.
Giving his taken on his wild Friday night, Vargas revealed that he could have done things differently at times yet seemed content with his performance.
“It was a tough fight but I dug down deep and did what I had to do,” said the 22-year old prospect. “I kind of fell into his game where I was fighting him at his fight, on the inside, but then again I would pull back and fight at the distance, which I should have done the whole fight, the entire fight. All it is is a learning experience. Tyner was a tough, natural 147-pounder, but that’s the reason we took the fight. We knew he was going to come to fight and it was going to be another test.”
Vargas had dropped Tyner with a low blow in the first round and saw the deed returned to him in the fourth, as a wicked shot down south had him rolling on the floor in pain. Wincing in agony, Vargas admits it was unlike anything he’s experienced thus far as a pro.
“Oh man, I’ve never been in that much pain in my boxing career,” Vargas continued. “But it happens. This is boxing and you’ve got to learn how to deal with it and know how to keep going with the fight. You can’t let it really affect you in any way. I just came back and fought the fight I wanted to fight.”
There are rumors floating that Vargas may be returning on the May 5th Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather serves as Vargas’ promoter as well as a bit of a mentor and the young pupil could find himself standing across the ring from former title challenger Alfonso Gomez next.
Still recovering a bit and enjoying the high that came from his last victory, Vargas couldn’t speak too much on that specific challenge but is eager for a return on such a big stage.
“I don’t know who we’re going to have in front of us May 5th," Vargas said. "But Alfonso Gomez, he’s a good fighter, he’s another fighter that pushes you, he comes to fight. I have to talk with [manager] Al Haymon, Floyd Mayweather and see what decision he wants to make and who he wants in front of us May 5th.”
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