By Anson Wainwright
Life as a world champion seems to sit well with the new IBO/WBA "regular" junior welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas.
"It's been great, after the fight I’ve been very happy, full of joy," Vargas said "(I'm) just enjoying the moment and looking forward to the next goal that I want to accomplish and that's to be known as one of the best in the sport.
"My career is just starting now, being a world champion. I'm here for the long run. I'm here to continue accomplishing my goals and become a superstar in boxing, hopefully with the support of the fans."
The recently turned 25-year-old bested unbeaten Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev over twelve rounds to win by scores of 117-111, 115-113 (twice).
When Vargas heard Michael Buffer announce those special words "And New"…it was something he will never forget.
"It was a very important moment, you really can't describe it. The relief, I did it, everything you worked for since you were 8-years old, you accomplished it. It's unexplainable.”
With the win Vargas (24-0, 9 knockouts) also entered BoxingScene's rankings as the number eight rated junior welterweight.
"It was a very entertaining match-up. I just felt I was always a step ahead," Vargas said of unseating Allakhverdiev.
"Khabib would try adapt to my style, he would try to change it up and where he could benefit but I was always able to adjust and always be a step ahead of him. We had a great gameplan and we executed perfectly. For the most part I was the one doing the most damage."
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, was equally excited about his fighter’s recent win.
"Jessie is an exciting action champion and we very proud of him." Arum said
An early night is always something a boxer likes, but it’s not something Vargas is used to. His last eight fights have all gone the distance.
However the experience of trading punches with the likes Josesito Lopez, Steve Forbes and Wale Omatoso have helped Vargas learn and develop his craft and have stood him in good stead against Allakhverdiev.
When Vargas met Wale Omotoso last March in the co-feature to the Tim Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov bout, he appeared to be undersized by his Nigerian opponent by ten pounds.
It led him to deciding to drop down from 147 to 140.
“The first thing I said to my manager was I’ve been making the weight (147) relatively easy for my last two fights. Let’s go back down to 140,” he said. “I also noticed I’m always so much smaller than the guys I was fighting at welterweight.”
In his first fight back at junior welterweight, Vargas achieved his dream, and now he’s looking to kick on and mix with the elite.
The likeable young Mexican-American grew up in Las Vegas but fought for the 2007 Mexican National Boxing Team.
Vargas' first defense will be on August 2, as the HBO televised chief support to Brandon Rios vs. Diego Chaves. The current favorite to meet Vargas is unbeaten Russian Anton Novikov.
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Tags: Jessie Vargas