By Keith Idec
Jessie Vargas took to social media Wednesday to explain why he turned down a chance to fight Miguel Cotto.
Vargas, a former WBO welterweight champion, revealed in statements posted to his Twitter and Instagram pages that Golden Boy Promotions didn’t offer him enough money to challenge Cotto. Vargas joined WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. by publicly acknowledging that he turned down the Cotto fight due to Golden Boy Promotions’ offer.
Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) and Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) both said that they weren’t willing to sign long-term contracts with Oscar De La Hoya’s promotional company to box Cotto on December 2 at Madison Square Garden. Golden Boy promotes Cotto.
Vargas (27-2, 10 KOs) didn’t mention having to sign with Golden Boy Promotions in his posts, but he is a promotional free agent.
Las Vegas’ Vargas, 28, recently came to an undisclosed financial agreement with longtime promoter Top Rank Inc. to terminate his contract. He also has begun working with adviser Al Haymon.
Puerto Rico’s Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) settled on a fight against Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs), a welterweight contender who’ll move up from 147 pounds to 154 to fight for Cotto’s WBO super welterweight title in what is supposed to be the final fight of Cotto’s career. Vargas stopped Ali in the ninth round of their March 2016 fight to win the then-vacant WBO welterweight championship in Washington, D.C.
“Just to be clear on the Miguel Cotto offer,” Vargas wrote. “My adviser Guadalupe Valencia informed me that Golden Boy was interested in me fighting Cotto. I immediately expressed interest, however, the money that GBP offered was not close to sufficient for such an important fight. I respect Cotto, as he is a Hall of Fame fighter. But frankly the fight they picked for him is not up to par with his legacy. I knocked out Ali in 9th round, and we were both fighting at 147 #Boxing #Boxeo”
Vargas didn't specify how much money he was offered to box Cotto.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.