By Ryan Burton
LAS VEGAS, NV - Former two-division champion Jessie Vargas was on at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame ceremony this past Saturday at the Red Rock Hotel & Casino.
The Las Vegas native had been in negotiations to face unbeaten WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia on September 14th in Southern California but the fight ultimately failed to materialize and Vargas is now hoping to secure a new opponent in the upcoming weeks.
"It would have been nice but Jaime Munguia (33-0) and his team have their reasons why they didn't take the fight. He decided to go an easier route with an opponent that I would say - not to sound cocky - but isn't the same caliber as me. They decided that it was too much of a risk to face me. This is boxing so now my team and I - Matchroom Boxing, Eddie Hearn, and my advisers are working on another good opponent that I know that the fans would like to see me in against. Hopefully (it will be in) late September but nothing is confirmed just yet," Vargas explained.
Munguia will now face Patrick Allotey (40-3) of Ghana. While he has a good record, the African hasn't beaten anyone close to the level of Munguia. Vargas said that the deal breaker was when Munguia's team wanted the fight to be at a catchweight of 156 pounds. That is two pounds above the super welterweight limit which would have made the fight a non-title bout.
"Yeah man, we were pretty close to finalizing a deal. Everybody knows I want to become a three-division world champion. Just as you said I want to fight for the title. That is very significant for me to become a three-division world champion. That is why I was aiming for and targeting Jaime Munguia. He was the WBO world champion in the super welterweight division and I wanted to become that champion in that division," said Vargas.
Munguia did however agree to make the sacrifice to get down to the 154 pound super welterweight limit to faces Allotey. The 22-year-old Munguia has struggled to make weight in his most recent bouts and his performances appear to have been affected.
Vargas believes that the fact that Munguia is willing to fight Allotey at 154 pounds tells you all that you need to know about the difference in the quality of himself and Munguia's next opponent.
"He wanted the fight at 156 so at 156 it wasn't for a title so it doesn't really matter. It has to be 154 on the dot and we would have made the fight. He decided not to go lower than 156 pounds with me but confirmed the fight against this other gentleman at 154 pounds so it doesn't make any sense. The only thing that I got out of it is that his team was afraid that their fighter would take a defeat against me but ultimately I think that it is up to us fighters to decide who we fight. If he was willing to fight me he should have just stuck to his ground and said that, 'I want to fight Jessie Vargas' because it was a very significant fight for both of us. I have a name and he has a title and people would have tuned in to watch," Vargas told BoxingScene.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter