Jessie Vargas predicts he will make Sadam Ali quit
Jessie Vargas was confident, bordering on contemptuous in his thoughts on Sadam Ali, predicting he will make the latter quit in their March 5 bout for the vacant WBO welterweight title.
Vargas, who has a new trainer in Dewey Cooper, made the surprising statement unprompted in his opening remarks on a conference call Thursday to hype the opening bout of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader that also features heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Tony Thompson in the main event at the DC Armory in the nation’s capital.
“That’s my goal and I plan to achieve it,” Vargas said of making Ali submit. “I’m not going to stop pushing from beginning to end. I’ve conditioned myself. I’ve prepared myself for that fight to come in busy basically and not leave it up to the judges, just win a clear, decisive fight. And to be honest, like I said, my goal is to win by a KO.”
Vargas, who lost a decision to Timothy Bradley in his last fight despite rocking Bradley in a final round that was mistakenly cut short, disparaged Ali’s boxing resume as shallow.
“He’s not on my level,” Vargas said. “And I’m here to show this on fight day. I’m here to prove that he’s not on my level. Of course I’m saying it but I’m going to prove it that night as well. It’s just two different breeds.”
Asked to elaborate on why he was so dismissive of Ali’s boxing chops, Vargas (26-1, 9 knockouts) pointed to the difference in their caliber of opponents. He even got a little personal, accusing Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) of lacking the intestinal fortitude to stomach a tough fight. Vargas has defeated three unbeaten fighters since 2013 and out-pointed former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco in 2014.
“He doesn’t have the experience I have,” the Las Vegas resident said. “I’ve been in there with world-class fighters in the beginning of my career. I’ve beaten several undefeated records already and I’m planning to do the same March 5th. He’s never had to really dig deep. He hasn’t been in those wars. And it’s something that he has inside that he’s going to…Something that he hasn’t experienced, he will experience in this fight.”
The normally placid Ali seemed amused by all the trash talk. A former 2008 U.S. Olympian, Ali has won impressively against Francisco Santana and Luis Carlos Abregu in his last two fights, though he hasn’t fought since last April.
“This may piss him off but it makes me laugh,” Ali said of all the chatter. “He’s really confident. That’s good. That’s the way a fighter should be. But make me quit, that is not an option for me.”
Brooklyn’s Ali likened Vargas’ comments to a pattern he’s heard before in his career of opponents underestimating his abilities.
“People are going to doubt me or people are not going to think too highly of me,” Ali said. “There’s going to be people like that. But that’s up to me to change their minds. That’s my job to do. I don’t blame them. There’s different kinds of fighters, different types of attitudes. This is me. Like, this is not an act. This is how I’ll always be. This is who I am. And as I’m fighting I’m going to run into a whole different type of personalities and this is just one. It’s no big deal to me at all.”