Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Vargas vs. Novikov: BoxingScene Staff Predictions

By Jake Donovan

Some fighters prefer a certain style – say, straight-forward brawlers as opposed to slick movers. Jessie Vargas may or may not have an affinity for unbeaten Russian southpaws, but that’s what the Vegas native gets for his second straight fight of 2014 as he faces Anton Novikov in a 12-round super lightweight title fight Saturday evening at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The bout serves as the chief support to a welterweight clash between Brandon Rios and Diego Chaves. Both fights will air live on HBO. 

Vargas (24-0, 9KOs) makes the first defense of the belt he claimed this past April in a hard-fought split decision win over Khabib Allakhverdiev. The 25-year old struggled to make weight for Saturday’s fight, but after stripping down to his birthday suit was able to come in right at the 140 lb. divisional limit, his third straight fight at the weight class after dropping down from welterweight last year.

Like the defending champ, Novikov (29-0, 11KOs) has spent the majority of his career fighting at welterweight. The 26-year old Russian came in at 139.8 lb., the lightest weight of his career. His last ring appearance was a 10-round decision win over Javier Castro in May, with his previous two fights taking place closer to the super lightweight division. 

Neither fighter has scored a knockout in more than two years. Novikov has been extended the distance in each of his past six contests, while Vargas has been forced to go to the cards in eight straight fights. 

Is another distance fight upon us? Will Novikov overcome a champion’s hometown advantage and walk away with the prize? Or will Vargas – Las Vegas’ second-ever home-grown titlist – remain the its only current champ by night’s end? 

Read on to see how the staff at Boxingscene.com believes tonight’s action will go down.

BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS: JESSIE VARGAS vs. ANTON NOVIKOV

Ryan Burton (Vargas UD): “I think this will be a good fight early on but Vargas turns it on in the 2nd half and wins around. 116-112.”

Jake Donovan (Vargas SD): “It’s tempting to go with Novikov based on natural size advantage and Vargas struggling to make weight. But the fighting pride of Las Vegas always seems to find a way to win, even in the most unlikely of scenarios. I’ll say the same plays out here.”

Cliff Rold (Novikov Dec.): “This could be a fascinating fight as neither man is a big puncher. Novikov's accuracy and combinations should allow him to outwork Vargas.”

Francisco Salazar (Vargas MD): “Will Jessie Vargas fight a consistent fight? Depends on what Novikov does. Novikov is sometimes too patient, which may bring lulls in the fight. Vargas has sometimes been in fights where he does not stick to game plan, where he is pulled into exchanges where he shouldn't be. It'll be a close fight and the house fighter (Vargas) gets a close decision.”

Reynaldo Sanchez (Vargas UD): “Novikov seems like the perfect guest here.”

Alexey Sukachev (Vargas UD): “Both fighters are very much alike, the difference is that Vargas is much more experienced and more refined on this level. Novikov is sturdy, active but he has no special abilities, and in his opponent's backyard it can be fatal.”

Anson Wainwright (Vargas UD): “Vargas won the title out, like many before him that experience will have helped mature him as a fighter. Novikov is a solid Russian who like Vargas isn't known as a puncher, as such I expect this to go the distance. I feel Vargas greater experience will aid him well in a solid if not compelling contest. All told Vargas to win a unanimous decision, something like 117-111.”

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 Boskop on 08-02-2014

Vargas bores the **** out of me everytime I watch him, its terrible

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in Mexico City Lomachenko 'A Little Disappointed' He's Not Fighting Salido Next Sergey Lipinets To Return on Thurman vs. Garcia Undercard Chavez Sr: You've Seen The Best of Canelo, Not Julio - He Will Win Video: Izu Ugonoh Interview, Training For Dominic Breazeale Two Rio Olympians Ready To Be Showcased on Telemundo Jose Pedraza Eyes 135 Debut in May or June, Robert Easter Shot Michael Watson "Overwhelmed" By Support After Vicious Attack Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. Come Together in Mexico City Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Yunieski Gonzalez in Play, April 8 on HBO Marco Huck Training With Urkal For Mairis Briedis Showdown Pearson vs. DeLoach Tops ShoBox Triple on February 24 Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. - Ticket Information Klitschko: Fury Played Mental Games With Me, Destroyed Himself Ugonoh's Coach: A Win Over Breazeale Could Lead To Wilder Scott Quigg Leaves Joe Gallagher, Teams Up With Freddie Roach Trainer: Chavez Jr. Will Face The Best Possible Version of Canelo! Chad Dawson: Adonis Stevenson is NOT a Real World Champion! Adrien Broner-Adrian Granados: Post-Fight Report Card Rakeem Noble: Beating Tommy Coyle Opens Doors For Me Frankie Gavin Leaves Max McCracken, Joins Eastside Gym Ivan Dychko Turns Pro, Eyes Anthony Joshua Rematch Tommy Coyle To Face Rakeem Noble In Hull; Kofi Yates Out Haye: I Know I Can Beat Joshua, I Want To Fight Him Next Hunter Says Canelo is Doing Golovkin Dirty With Flat Fee Offer Klitschko Banking on Experience To Push Him Past Joshua "Fighting Words" - Thomas Williams Jr. Took the Hard Way Out Broner: I'm Not Gonna Lie; Granados Hurt Me One Time in Fight Igor Mikhalkin Aims To Get Back in The Mix After PED Mess Photo: Chavez Jr. Arrives To Mexico City Looking Very Slim Magomed Madiev, Khegai, Agadzhanyan Win in Moscow Promoter: To Gain Credibility, Beterbiev Has To Fight on The Road Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados - CompuBox Punch Stats Martinez Will Give Advice To Sosa Ahead of Lomachenko Fight Showtime's Espinoza on Joshua Gaining U.S. Fans, Wilder Clash Kovacs Retains WBO Euro Belt, Imre Szello Beats Garrett Wilson Broner Says He Fought For Nine-Plus Rounds With Broken Hand Avni Yildirim Crushes Alexander Sushchyts in One Broner Explains Why Mayweather Didn't Attend Granados Fight Arthur Abraham vs. Robin Krasniqi at Congress Center in Erfurt
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement