Rey Vargas made the decision to sit back and allow another opponent to take place in the featherweight pecking order.

His patience has paid off, as the unbeaten former junior featherweight titlist will now get his shot at becoming a two-division titlist.

The most recent edition of the WBC’s weekly ‘Coffee Tuesdays’ online meeting revealed the sanctioning body is prepared to order newly crowned WBC featherweight titlist Mark Magsayo (24-0, 16KOs) to next face Vargas. Magsayo claimed the belt in a twelve-round, majority decision victory over long-reigning but criminally inactive Gary Russell Jr. (31-2, 18KOs) in their January 22 Showtime headliner from Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City.

The opportunity was once due to go to Mexico’s Vargas (35-0, 22KOs), who instead chose to accept a stay busy fight following a lengthy ring absence. The decision paved the way for Magsayo to advance to the title stage, while coming with the promise that the unbeaten Mexican would be next in line.

“Having such a long (layoff due to) injury, then Covid, thank God I’m back,” Vargas stated during his guest appearance for WBC’s weekly session. “I can’t ask for anything more. Going straight for the title (versus Magsayo) makes me feel very, very happy.”

Vargas emerged as the mandatory challenger after moving up in weight following his lengthy WBC junior featherweight title reign. His featherweight debut was due to take place in March 2020, though shut down due to the initial wave of the ongoing pandemic. Hopes of returning once the sport was back in action were ruined after Vargas suffered a broken leg injury which kept him out of the ring for all of 2020 and much of 2021.

The 31-year-old from Otumba, Mexico—who is trained by the legendary Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Beristain—finally returned to the ring last November, earning a dominant ten-round, unanimous decision win over Leonardo Baez. The feat took place on the undercard of countryman Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ historic undisputed super middleweight championship knockout win over Caleb Plant.

It also meant allowing Magsayo to jump the line to face Russell, perhaps in a missed opportunity for Vargas.

Russell suggested that he fought through a pre-fight tendon tear which he aggravated in the fourth round of Saturday’s bout, which marked his sixth attempted title defense in nearly seven years. Magsayo didn’t quite capitalize, but ultimately did just enough to prevail in his first career title fight.

“Mark Magsayo is a bigger fighter (than Russell), but he’s smarter more so than just (relying on) power,” noted Vargas. “Magsayo is very smart in the ring.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox