Thursday, November 30, 2023  |



Vargas claims Ali is scared of him, Ali vows to see who’s better man

Fighters Network
Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jessie Vargas has relentlessly attacked Sadam Ali in the weeks leading up to their highly-anticipated WBO welterweight title fight on Saturday. Vargas has described Ali’s style as amateurish and assailed his level of opposition. Vargas was at it again on Thursday, telling a pair of reporters he believes that Ali is scared by his presence and is so worried about his abilities that he’s altered the way he fights.

Vargas (26-1, 9 knockouts) referenced his loss against Timothy Bradley last June when he had the normally sturdy Bradley reeling in the final seconds as reason why Ali is so concerned.

“I’m sure that he’s intimidated because he knows what I can do to an iron chin,” Vargas said before a presser on Thursday to hype a card that will take place at the DC Armory and will air on HBO. “For me to have (Bradley) knocked out, that opened everybody’s eyes in the boxing world to know that I do have that punching power. There is an intimidation.”

Vargas, a former junior welterweight titleholder, claims he has contacts who reported back to him what Ali has been doing in training while in New York. “You get rumors here and there and get information from certain training camps,” Vargas explained. “I have friends on the east coast who know and just things that they’re planning on doing differently in training camp says a lot. It means they have a lot of respect for me, which they should. But I’m sure he prepared the best that he can so he’ll show up and give a good fight the first couple of rounds.”

Vargas went into detail about the information he’s received of Ali’s camp in Brooklyn. “You hear rumors,” Vargas said. “The boxing game is a small world. I mean once you got to change up your defense it’s because you know that something is coming.”

Soft-spoken and friendly, Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) has viewed Vargas’ chatter with something resembling bemusement, quieting filing the claims in the back of his head for use on Saturday.

“I think Jessie Vargas is just trying to get into my head,” the 2008 U.S. Olympian said. “I think some of the things he’s says is really stupid. But nothing that he says is affecting me in any way. I don’t know if he plans on getting in my head or he’s trying to scare me. None of that is really working, to be honest with you,” he said with a laugh. “It’s only making it worse. But hey, say everything you have to say. Saturday night, we’re going to find out who’s the better man. I’m not affected or worried about anything he says or does. It doesn’t matter to me. [The trash talk is] making me want it more than I already do.”