This weekend in Los Angeles, Jessie Vargas will step back into the ring to continue another championship push in his career. Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) is facing tough Mexican veteran Humberto Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) on Friday night in the Forum in Inglewood, California exclusively on DAZN.
The fight takes place as one of the chief supports to the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada rematches and figures to be an entertaining scrap. Soto, at 38 years old, may be a little long in the tooth, but he just captured a big win over former champion Brandon Rios in Tijuana, Mexico this past February, so his spirits are high.
“Humberto is one of those tough Mexican fighters that never stops coming forward,” said Vargas. “He fights to the end a lot like me, so we’ll put on a great fight on a brilliant card; it could be the fight of the night. His fight with Brandon was a good fight, one Humberto had control of and was able to get the win. He called me out straight after the win and I was happy to accept the fight.”
Vargas is a fighter who will always challenge anyone, so you could forgive him for possibly looking past Soto, yet you can tell he’s focused.
“He’s a two-division world champion, he knows how to box and how to brawl,” Vargas said. “It’s about picking the right moments against a fighter like that. Knowing his tricks and what will work against a fighter of his caliber and with his experience, I know I need to be switched on for every second of the fight and that’s what we’re training hard for.”
Vargas has faced plenty of top fighters, including Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Sadam Ali, and Adrien Broner last year. He fought to a draw with Broner in April, and came back to have another draw vs. Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme in October.
At 29 years old, Vargas is in his prime and spoke on his abilities.
“I’m very intelligent in the ring and very versatile, it’s about me making sure I follow and execute the game plan and stay on my toes, as you cannot give Humberto any chances as he will take advantage,” said Vargas.
Given that Vargas is always up for a challenge, perhaps he could emerge as a future opponent for WBO welterweight king Terence Crawford.
Just last week in New York, Crawford scored a sixth round TKO over former champion Amir Khan, although the outcome was not what the fans had hoped for. Crawford dominated early before a low blow forced Khan to take a knee, and then choose not to fight on.
Crawford is aligned with Top Rank, and there is no secret he is pushing for a fight with IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. But Spence fights under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions banner, and promotional issues will likely hold the fight back for a while.
Vargas had a deal with Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, but Hearn and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum have done business together in the past, as was the case last week for Crawford vs. Khan.
If Arum is running out of opponents for his fighter, then it wouldn’t be a shock to see Vargas get the offer. The Mexican-American from Las Vegas always comes to fight and would be one of Crawford’s more credible foes, if they were to meet.
Stranger things in boxing have happened.