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Rey Vargas to defend title vs. Oscar Negrete in Cotto-Ali HBO co-feature

Rey Vargas is hoping to get back on top. Photo by Lawrence Lustig

Miguel Cotto has chief support on HBO for his farewell fight in New York.

Rey Vargas will defend his junior featherweight title against Oscar Negrete on December 2 in the televised co-feature to Cotto-Sadam Ali, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday.

“I feel privileged to be fighting at an arena where some of history’s best fighters have fought,” said Vargas (30-22 knockouts). “I know that Oscar Negrete is a brawler and that this is a fight between two undefeated fighters. Negrete is a young man who pushes forward hard, and his 17-0 record and his place in the rankings demonstrate that he’s a great rival.

“Also, it will be an honor to share the card with Miguel Cotto, and I know that the arena will be filled with a lot of emotion for his last fight. And, just as a star is making a grand exit, I hope that a new star is born, and his name is Rey Vargas.”

This will be Vargas’ second consecutive outing opening up for Cotto. The Mexico native outpointed Ronny Rios in his first title defense in August before Cotto returned with a win over Yoshihiro Kamegai.

But for Negrete(17-0 7 KOs), this is new territory. He’ll be making his HBO debut for his first title opportunity and the moment isn’t lost on him.

“I am super happy for this opportunity,” said Negrete, a native of Colombia. “I am not only seeing one dream come, true but two dreams. It’s been a dream of mine to fight for a world title and a dream to fight at Madison Square Garden, and on December 2, I’ll be doing both.

“I know Rey Vargas is a great fighter, but I’ve always wanted to fight the best. If I’m going to fight for a world title, it has to be with a great rival who is worth it and whom I can be proud to fight.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger