By Victor Salazar
With his recent knockout win over unbeaten Sadam Ali, tough welterweight contender Jessie Vargas became a two-division world champion by picking up the vacant WBO welterweight crown.
The fight with Ali was a 50-50 fight that could have gone either way and early on the action was very close. Ali picked up some points from the early but then Vargas’ power took over as he dropped Ali and eventually stopped him in the eight round.
Vargas felt his experience played a key factor.
“We definitely relied on experience to settle in and figure him out and look for the right way to land our punches,” Vargas told BoxingScene.com. “We improved every part of the game in every aspect. I never felt this stronger in my career before. felt him feeling the shots. He wasn’t breaking down but he couldn’t get into hos grove and figure me out. He’s a fighter that gets into a groove and figures guys out.”
Dewey Cooper, who took over the role of head trainer after Vargas broke away from Erik Morales, was given credit for adding power to Vargas’ game.
“I thank Dewey for this victory,” Vargas explained. “He brought the power out of me. He brought the best out of, the speed, the power. Jessie Vargas is here to stay, a versatile fighter with power.”
After the sixth round, Vargas (27-1, 10KOs) says he felt the fight was over.
“I was getting hit but I didn’t feel his power,” Vargas said. I think I started to figure him out after the sixth and after I knocked him down, I think I had him.”
What’s next for Jessie Vargas? One simple answer. He wants a rematch with Timothy Bradley.
They fought each other last June, with Bradley winning a twelve round unanimous decision. But there was a lot of controversy in the twelfth round. Vargas had Bradley in serious trouble in the final minute of the fight and was trying to finish him off. The referee, mistakenly believing that he heard the final bell, stopped the fight about 8-10 seconds early. Vargas was furious, arguing that he was robbed of a potential knockout win.
Bradley has a trilogy fight coming up with Manny Pacquiao on April 9th. Whether he wins or loses, Vargas wants to get Bradley back in the ring.
“I want Bradley. That’s the fight I want. We have unfinished business. Win or loss [against Pacquiao], I want Bradley,” Vargas said.