Former WBO light welterweight champion Jessie Vargas returns to the ring this Saturday against former 2 division champion Timothy Bradley. Vargas, 26-0 9 KOs, has been waiting for this chance to test himself against a marque name from the sport and hopes this fight can open the doors to super stardom.
During my recent “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Jessie Vargas, I spoke to him about his fight this Saturday night and got his views on what he thinks he will need to do to beat Timothy Bradley. I also talk to Jessie about his future beyond this fight and if he could see a Manny Pacquiao fight happening. Additionally I get Vargas’s thoughts on Mayweather-Pacquiao and also his official prediction for his fight against Bradley. Here is what Jessie Vargas had to say.
Jenna J: This Saturday night you will be taking on Timothy Bradley. How do you feel about getting such a well known and respected opponent?
Jessie Vargas: I’m happy to be given this opportunity against Timothy Bradley, a well known name in the boxing game. A win over him would be my biggest win to date and that’s the reason why I’m happy for it.
It’s a big opportunity and I’m looking forward to shining and to showing the fans what I’m about. I think they’ve got a taste of it already but this is going to be my coming out party. I’m very much looking forward to it.
Jenna J: How do you feel about going up in weight and the fight being at 147lbs?
Jessie Vargas: I feel great. I have the height, I have a great team, a great strength and conditioning coach as well, Adam Flores. They’ve been able to keep me strong, build a lot of muscle so that I fill in well into the 147lb division. I feel great, I feel stronger than ever. I feel fast, explosive and I think the only thing I have now is the anxiety to be in the ring and beating Timothy Bradley and becoming the new WBO world champion.
Jenna J: You made a big change coming into this fight, you hired Erik Morales as your trainer. He’s a well respected champion, what has he added to your game?
Jessie Vargas: He’s added several things, he’s made several corrections and he has been elevating my game. His experience inside the ring has helped plenty because he’s able to see things from the opponent and also things in me that we can make better for Saturday night. We’ve been working on all those things.
He created a great gameplan and he acknowledges the fact that I have a couple of styles that I can portray in the fight at any time that I choose to. He’s been able to give me different gameplans and different techniques.
Jenna J: When you look at Timothy Bradley as an opponent, what type of opponent do you see there?
Jessie Vargas: I see a decent opponent. He usually comes to fight, but he is getting older. As my coach says, “Once you hit your thirties, certain fighters start feeling those punches much more than before,” I see that in Timothy Bradley. He’s a veteran of the sport and I think that he knows that his time has come and my time is coming for me to come up. This is my time to shine, this is my coming out party. I feel this fight was made for me.
Jenna J: Would it be fair to say that Timothy’s biggest advantage over you is his experience, being that he’s been in the ring with so many great fighters?
Jessie Vargas: Yeah, what other advantage would he have? If it is, experience would be the only thing, but I have plenty of experience myself. The big known names that he has been in against, he lost to. Who is he? I’m ready to take him out.
Jenna J: In the fight there is the interim WBO title at stake. What do you think it would do for your career if you’re able to win this fight and that title?
Jessie Vargas: Not only the belt, I think the fight. I think a win over Timothy Bradley would give me more recognition than I already have. It would put me among the best in the welterweight division and that’s the main thing, it will keep me among the best, which is what I want to be considered as.
Jenna J: One of the fights that you were targeting for a while was a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Do you think a win over Timothy Bradley could open the door for that?
Jessie Vargas: Without a doubt. First, I’m very concentrated at the task at hand, which is Timothy Bradley, but the sky is the limit after that. Manny Pacquiao is a possible fight that could be done in the near future. First we look good in this fight, we come out victorious just as we have planned and Pacquiao could be a name that we can be in against.
Jenna J: I want to get your views on the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. What were your thoughts on it?
Jessie Vargas: It was a chess match, it was a well thought over fight. It was a chess match, that’s what it was. They both took their time, they were picking their punches, one punch at a time. They just took their time, too much of it, but they took it. They didn’t want to commit any mistakes.
Jenna J: After seeing that fight, do you think there’s any reason for there to be a rematch?
Jessie Vargas: Sure, at the end of the day, it’s what the fans want to see. If the fans want to see a rematch, why not?
Jenna J: Do you think Pacquiao could do better if he didn’t have an injury coming into the fight?
Jessie Vargas: I don’t know, I think only he knows that. Only he, his trainer and his team really know whether he will do better or not, or what difference it would make.
Jenna J: The fight that you got this Saturday with Timothy Bradley, what do you need to from the opening bell to the finish, to come away with the victory?
Jessie Vargas: Show him that I’m the stronger fighter, the smarter fighter and that there’s nothing that he can do better than me.
Jenna J: What is your prediction for the fight?
Jessie Vargas: Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision or a KO win. I’m going the KO win that’s for sure, and I hope I get it. I’m very positive that it will come. Like I said earlier, I’ve never felt this strong before, I feel very strong and very comfortable. As soon as I connect him with the right punch, he will go down.
Jenna J: Is there any message you want to pass along to your fans?
Jessie Vargas: Thank you for all the support. Come down to the StubHub Center this Saturday night, it’s gonna be a great fight. If you can’t attend the StubHub Center, then tune in to HBO, you don’t want to miss out.