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Jessie Vargas tests positive for COVID-19, Feb. 5 bout against Liam Smith postponed

12
Jan

The pre-election ring return of Jessie Vargas has been postponed.

The former WBA junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing a delay to his Feb. 5 bout with Liam Smith, which was scheduled to take place in Phoenix, Arizona and to be broadcasted by DAZN. The news was announced Wednesday, with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and Vargas both tweeting about the development.

The card was scheduled to feature a rematch between former 115-pound champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras. A decision will be made “over the next 24 hours” about whether to postpone the whole card to later in February, with Vargas-Smith as the main event, or to proceed with Sor Rungvisai-Cuadras as the new main event on Feb. 5, a Matchroom source tells The Ring.

Vargas (29-3-2, 11 knockouts) hasn’t fought since February of 2020, when he lost a 12-round decision to Mikey Garcia. Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs), a former WBO junior middleweight titleholder, is coming off an eighth round stoppage of Anthony Fowler in October in his hometown of Liverpool, England.

Vargas, a Las Vegas native, announced in November that he would seek the Republican Party’s nomination to run for congress in Nevada’s fourth congressional district, which is currently represented by Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford.

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