Former two-weight world titleholder Jessie Vargas is targeting glory at junior middleweight having ruled at junior welterweight and welterweight, and the first step will be against Mexican veteran Humberto Soto on Saturday at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Soto, who previously held titles at 130 and 135 pounds, enters the bout on the back of a spirited win over Brandon Rios in Tijuana, Mexico in February. The 38-year-old can now take a giant step towards a world title shot if he tears up the script and upsets the hotly-favored Las Vegas native.
“Humberto is one of those tough Mexican fighters that never stops coming forward,” said Vargas (28-2-2, 10 knockouts). “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.
“He’s a two-division world champion, he knows how to box and how to brawl. 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. 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.
“He has speed in his favor as a fighter moving up, but we’ve been working on speed too. I feel I’m the more powerful fighter and stronger fighter, physically. I also think that I am faster than him – he is fast but I think that I am more explosive and sharper.
“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.”
In the main event Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1 41 KOs) puts his WBC and Ring Magazine junior bantamweight titles on the line in a rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3 26 KOs) and WBA junior featherweight champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1 10 KOs) and IBF counterpart TJ Doheny (21-0 15 KOs) meet in a unification bout.
Also on the card, unbeaten Anthony Sims Jr (18-0 17 KOs) targets super middleweight belts this year and faces Vaughn Alexander (14-2 9 KOs) over 10 rounds, hotly-tipped Uzbek standout Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6 KOs) meets Baltimore’s Emanuel Taylor (20-5 14 KOs) in a 10-rounder and his fellow countryman Murodjon Akmadaliev (5-0 4 KOs) faces Mexican Carlos Carlson (23-5 14 KOs).
Two of Matchroom Boxing’s brightest talents showcase their skills as 18-year-old Diego Pacheco (2-0 1 KO) fights on home soil against Guillermo Maldonado (1-0) and Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams makes his highly anticipated pro debut against Joe Guevara (3-4-1 2 KOs).
Two of Golden Boy Promotions stars feature on the card in important battles as Argentinian Olympian Alberto Melian (4-0 3 KOs) fights for the second time in 2019 and second time in the States against Isaac Zarate (16-4-3 2 KOs) and former World title challenger Ronnie Rios (29-3 13 KOs) looks to return to winning ways against Daniel Olea (13-7-2 5 KOs).
Quotes courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing
Tickets are on sale now prices from just $31 – to charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and also at the Forum Box Office.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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