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Jessie Vargas eyes Manny Pacquiao after Antonio DeMarco

17
Nov
Jessie Vargas (L) fighting Khabib Allakhverdiev en route to a unanimous-decision win on April 12, 2014. Photo by Jeff Gross - Getty Images.

Jessie Vargas (L) fighting Khabib Allakhverdiev en route to a unanimous-decision win on April 12, 2014. Photo by Jeff Gross – Getty Images.

 

Jessie Vargas knows full well what is at stake if he is victorious over Antonio DeMarco on Nov. 22 and that’s a potential bout with Manny Pacquiao in his next fight.

Not only will Vargas (25-0, 9 knockouts) face DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KOs), a former lightweight titleholder, in a junior welterweight bout in Macau, China; he will do so in his first fight with four-division titlist Roy Jones Jr. as his trainer.

Vargas-DeMarco will support Pacquiao’s defense of his WBO welterweight title against rising WBO 140-pound beltholder Chris Algieri, whom Pacquiao will fight at a 144-pound catchweight.



Although Pacquiao is said to be considering a drop into the 140-pound division, Vargas said he has spoken to Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum about rising in weight.

“Not to put my boss on the spot too much but he did talk to me and he did tell me that it was a fight that was out there and that it was very possible that it could happen. He just told me in a very serious conversation that, ‘It’s up to you as well,'” said Vargas, 25, who will also employ Angel Heredia as his strength and conditioning coach.

“[Arum] said, ‘It’s up to you to perform and you have to do your part as well.’ So I respect that and that’s the way the game is. I’m doing everything on my part to put myself into that position, which is to get that possible fight with Manny Pacquiao…It’s definitely motivation and it’s definitely putting a little pressure on me but it’s good pressure.”

A resident of Las Vegas, Vargas has reeled off consecutive unanimous decision wins over previously unbeaten fighters Khabib Allakhverdiev and Anton Novikov in April and August, respectively.

Vargas said he discovered he would lose former cornerman Ismael Salas in August when the latter accepted a coaching position abroad and Vargas later replaced Salas with Jones.

Since losing his WBC lightweight title to Adrien Broner in November 2012, DeMarco, 28, is 3-0 with two knockouts as a welterweight. He was last in action in August for a unanimous decision over Lanardo Tyner, who floored DeMarco in the first round.

Vargas spoke to RingTV.com regarding his fight with DeMarco in the following Q&A.

 

RingTV.com: How is everything?

Jessie Vargas: Everything is great. Just finishing up and putting the finishing touches on everything. Today was the last day of sparring and I’m just ready to fight now.

I’m just ready to fight. I’ve been ready to fight since Monday but we’re just finishing up. I sparred a few rounds today and camp finished up well. So I’m very focused.

We just did a few rounds, like five, to finish up. Roy and I did a few more things and looked at a few things that we wanted to work on. I’m ready to go to China.

RingTV.com: Do you feel more confident with Jones in your corner?

JV: First of all, I liked how comfortable I felt in the ring and how much faster I was and how quick every move was. There is more explosiveness behind every move, every punch and everything is more thought out.

The tranquility is more inspired as in knowing what’s going on now and in being two or three steps ahead in the game. I’m going to be a lot more explosive when needed.

RingTV.com: What are the various ways in which you feel that you have an advantage over DeMarco?

JV: I know that he’s going to come to fight and I’m expecting that. I’m expecting a lot of fire out of him but you put fire out with fire and that’s what we’re going to do.

You’re going to see a fight. Out of Jessie Vargas, you’re always going to see a fight. But this time, it’s just that I’m going to be picking my moments. I feel strongly that I’ll have control of the fight because that’s what me and Roy have been planning on.

That’s just what you want to experience in every fight. You want to have full control of it and want to be as impressive on offense as on defense but, most of all, you want to give the fans a fight.

You’re always going to see that in a Jessie Vargas 12-round fight. You’re going to see action. That’s always my goal. I’m not a boring fighter and I choose not to be a boring fighter. I want to be in an action fight and I plan on giving the fans a great show.

I plan on giving DeMarco a fight when I want to. I’m going to fight him when I want to but also lure him into traps when I want to. I believe that I’m just going to take control of the fight from the first round and that it’s going to be my fight all the way.

RingTV.com: Does it raise the bar for you that Arum has told you that Pacquiao may be on the horizon if you win and he wins?

JV: Not to put my boss on the spot too much but he did talk to me and he did tell me that it was a fight that was out there and that it was very possible that it could happen. He just told me in a very serious conversation that “It’s up to you as well.”

He said, “It’s up to you to perform and you have to do your part as well.” So I respect that and that’s the way the game is and I’m doing everything on my part to put myself into that position, which is to get that possible fight with Manny Pacquiao.

It’s definitely motivation and it’s definitely putting a little pressure on me but it’s good pressure. I fight well under pressure to be honest with you. We have to perform to the best of our abilities.

I always want to strive to get better and I always want to give the fans a better fight than the last one. So being mentioned as a potential Pacquiao opponent really makes no difference.

RingTV.com: So you’re not distracted at all by the notion of Pacquiao?

JV: Right now, the only thing that I’m focused on is Antonio DeMarco because after that, everything will fall into place, I’m pretty sure, because I’m doing everything right. I have to perform and give the fans either a knockout victory or to win impressively and that’s my plan.

That way, my manager, my promoter and my trainer can fall in love with my style and give me the better opportunities. We have to win and we have to look good and we have to give the fans our all.

That’s what I do each fight and I hope that the fans enjoy it. But, yes, with this fight, there is that much more energy, definitely. There has to be that much more fire behind it because I know that I’m right there.

 

[Note: Vargas holds the WBA’s “regular” title but THE RING recognizes RING 140-pound champion Danny Garcia as the WBA beltholder.]

 

Read more:

Jessie Vargas energized by new trainer Roy Jones Jr.

Jean Pascal: Roy Jones Jr. will be in my corner vs. Don George

 

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