Weekend Preview: Vargas returns to Fight Night Club
Tim Coleman (right) lands a right cross to the face of Mike Arnaoutis en route to scoring a controversial split decision over the veteran in December. Coleman faces dangerous fringe contender Patrick Lopez in a ShoBox main event this Friday in Santa Ynez, Calif. Photo / Jim Everett-Fightwireimages.com
JESSIE VARGAS vs. PABLO DANIEL SARMIENTO
Rounds / weight class: 8 rounds / junior welterweights
Location: Los Angeles
Television: Fox Sports Net/RingTV.com/Ustream.com
The backdrop: Vargas (11-0, 6 KOs), who was impressive in stopping former contender Ernesto Zavala in six rounds on the June Fight Night Club card, is one of the best young prospects who has yet to establish his name among hardcore fans. Sarmiento (34-13-2, 16 KOs) has not fought since 2004, but the 39-year-old Spain-based Argentine veteran once held a minor 140-pound title and was considered top class on the European scene in the early 2000s. Sarmiento has been training with middleweight champ Sergio Martinez in Southern California, but who knows what he has left after his six-year hiatus? Vargas, who is trained by Roger Mayweather in Las Vegas, is young (21) but precocious and not very respectful to his elders once the bell rings.
Also fighting: Anthony Martinez vs. Ronnie Peterson, 6 rounds, welterweights; Jaime Kavanagh vs. Ricardo Malfavon
Rating the card: C. Despite Sarmiento’s quality experience, the main event of this Fight Night Club show has “showcase” written all over it, as do the other scheduled televised bouts featuring welterweight prospect Martinez (5-0, 4 Kos) and Ireland’s former amateur star Kavanagh (2-0, 1 KO).
TIM COLEMAN VS. PATRICK LOPEZ
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior welterweights
Location: Santa Ynez, Calif.
The backdrop: Coleman (17-1-1, 4 KOs), a strong and capable prospect from Baltimore, hasn’t fought since winning a controversial 12-round split decision over former contender Mike Arnaoutis last December. Lopez (20-3, 9 KOs), an aggressive southpaw technician from Venezuela, is 9-1 in his last 10 bouts. The 32-year-old Olympian is coming off an impressive third-round stoppage of unbeaten prospect Prenice Brewer on ESPN2, his fifth straight win since dropping a split decision to fringe contender Josesito Lopez last April.
Also fighting: Archie Ray Marquez vs. Juan Santiago, 8 rounds, lightweights
Rating the card: B-. This is a solid ShoBox main event. Coleman and Lopez’s styles should mesh well. The co-feature between Marquez (10-0, 7 KOs) and Santiago (13-4-1, 8 KOs) is decent. Marquez, 22, is talented but still developing. Santiago, 25, isn’t very talented but is tough and has plenty of guts.
JORGE BARRIOS VS. WILSON ALCORRO
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweights
Location: Corrientes, Argentina
Television: Telefutura (in the U.S.)/HBO Plus (in Latin America)
The backdrop: Barrios (49-4-1, 35 KOs) hasn’t fought since a fifth-round stoppage of Michael Lozada last November. The 34-year-old former 130-poundbelt holder from Argentina has had to deal with legal issues stemming from his part in a auto accident that took the life of a 20-year-old pregnant woman in Mar del Plata in January. Barrios, who hasn’t faced a world-class opponent since being stopped by Rocky Juarez in September of 2008, was absolved of legal culpability in the accident and is looking to get his career back on track. His opponent, Alcorro (28-12-3, 18 KOs), is a 36-year-old Colombian journeyman obviously brought in to help him knock off some rust. Alcorro is 3-5 in his last eight bouts but his losses were to undefeated prospects and former lightweight titleholder Nate Campbell.
Also fighting: Hector Saldivia vs. Jailton DeJesus, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: C+. The Solo Boxeo main event is clearly a “gimme” bout for Barrios but it should provide action while it lasts. The co-featured bout — which pits Saldivia (34-2, 27 KOs), an Argentine veteran, against Souza (12-1, 10 KOs), a Brazilian prospect — should be fun. Both welterweights are trying to rebound from recent first-round KO losses.
Also fighting on Saturday and Sunday:
Thailand’s Denkaosan Kaowichit, THE RING’s No. 4-rated flyweight, challenges Luis Concepcion, the magazine’s No. 6-rated 112 pounder, in a 12-round interim title bout in Concepcion's hometown of Panama City on Saturday.
Thailand’s Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, THE RING's No. 1-rated junior featherweight, defends his 122-pound title against Japan’s national featherweight champ Ryol Li Lee in Tokyo on Saturday.
Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam defends his RING flyweight championship against countryman Suriyan Por Chockchai in Muang, Srisaket, Thailand, on Sunday.