Jessie Vargas and Mikey Garcia have been cordial and friendly throughout the years, but their years-long relationship will go out the window when they meet in Texas on Feb. 29 in a welterweight matchup.
“Once we were face-to-face, it was fight time. I kind of smirked, and then it changed. It’s on. Let’s get serious. I automatically changed my mentality from a friendly standpoint to an aggressive-fighting standpoint. That’s where we’re at right now,” Vargas told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“Fighting Mikey Garcia is definitely my biggest fight, because it’s my upcoming fight. Not only in my eyes, but in the fight fans’ eyes. We have everything to make it a fight of the year candidate. He’s a talented athlete. I feel that I’m just as talented. We’re both very technical in our abilities, and I believe we’re going to put on a good show for the people.”
The 30-year-old Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) and the 32-year-old Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) are both of Mexican heritage. They believe they have the ingredients to add yet another installment as one of the best bouts ever between two Mexican fighters.
“I don’t know how to explain, but there is something about it when you put two fighters of Mexican heritage inside the ring,” said Vargas. “It always becomes a brawl and action-packed fight for some reason. This fight has the potential to become the same outcome.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.