Jessie Vargas is a two division champion with a chip on his shoulder. Following his latest win that netted him the vacant WBO Welterweight Title, Vargas continued his call for a rematch against the lone foe who defeated him, Timothy Bradley. He wasn’t done there. Vargas called out Juan Manuel Marquez who’s still claiming to want a comeback- apparently in pursuit of a welterweight title that has eluded him throughout his career; he called out Miguel Cotto, who’s reeling from a loss to Canelo Alvarez; and just about anyone who wants to fight.
With both Cotto and JMM declining, and Bradley coming off an exhausting camp and tougher loss to Manny Pacquiao, Vargas will have to look elsewhere for a fight. Here are his three best options if he wants to continue his rise in the loaded welterweight division.
Kell Brook – IBF Welterweight Champion
Brook has been labeled “the king of mandatories” by rival and countryman Amir Khan. While coming off of another easy mandatory victory, Brook hasn’t faced stiff competition since winning his IBF title against Shawn Porter. He’s been begging for a bigger fight this summer though he’s shown some unwillingness to fight in the U.S. as most of his offers have asked potential opponents to travel to England.
Vargas offers Brook a step up in competition, a unification bout that would raise the winner’s profile immensely in a crowded division, and a potential foe that may be willing to travel to England for the right price. This fight makes the most sense for both, offers the biggest reward in adding another title, and can match two of boxing’s best fan bases together in Great Britain and Mexico- although Vargas is American born, his Mexican heritage draws a more diverse fan collection.
Vargas has the experience in fighting on the big stage with his Bradley bout and being on the undercard to Pacquiao’s PPV. I don’t see a potential matchup with Brook in England or elsewhere, deterring his abilities or shaking his resolve.
Danny Garcia – WBC Welterweight Champion
Another unification possibility would do big business for Vargas. Garcia carries an undefeated record and experience fighting on the big stage in Brooklyn and Las Vegas that raises his profile a lot more than a Brook fight could. As an Al Haymon fighter, its more unlikely we’ll see Garcia take this fight against Vargas. Hayman, for his part has been playing nice lately in giving his blessing in Khan facing Golden Boy’s Canelo, and in Wade fighting GGG on HBO, so anything’s possible at this point.
This fight would be a slugfest that would make for great TV and an excellent championship bout. Two champions going at it is what boxing was made for…well it use to be two boxers fighting for one belt, but we’ll settle for a unification here!
Chaves offers Vargas the highest risk, lowest reward option. Ranked #8 by No Sparring even though he’s been out of action for over a year, Chaves was originally supposed to face Kell Brook last Fall before an injury to Brook kept the bout from moving forward. A hard hitter, Chaves would give Vargas a brutal challenge and fans an exciting fight to watch. Chaves deserves a shot at the title and may be able to get one. With Vargas looking to build his name further, an exciting, potential FOTY kind of matchup that should interest the likes of HBO, could do the trick. A ring rusty Chaves might also be enticing.