Bradley-Vargas clash for interim WBO welterweight title

Updated: June 25, 2015

Every fighter dreams of winning a world title and fighting the best opposition available. The same can be said of Timothy Bradley, the former unified WBC/WBO junior welterweight and WBO welterweight champion. Bradley, although he never got the chance to fight Floyd Mayweather did get two shots at Manny Pacquiao that included a controversial split-decision victory for the WBO welterweight title in June 2012.

Bradley has fought the best in the world from 140-147 pounds and won two division world titles. Anything, in addition to what he has already achieved, will be a bonus for the California native.

What is the point of Bradley fighting when it is clear that Mayweather will soon end his career in September and Pacquiao is just about finished also? Well, Bradley, who is only two fights removed from his first professional defeat, remains one of the best welterweights in the world.

Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), in search for his second consecutive win since losing a unanimous 12-round decision to Pacquiao in a April 2014 rematch, will fight undefeated prospect Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs) for the interim WBO 147-pound title this Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California in a battle of California fighters.

HBO will televise the fight with coverage beginning at 9:45 PM/ET.

“I’m excited to be back in the ring with an undefeated champion,” Bradley said. “I look forward to the challenge and to take his 0 away from him on June 27th.”

Jessie Vargas is a former amateur standout. He compiled an impressive 120-20 amateur record, won two Mexican National titles, two U.S. National titles, and represented Mexico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics along upcoming super featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez, who will also be competing on Saturday’s show.

Vargas is also a former undefeated WBA 140-pound champion.

“I have more big fight experience than Vargas, more speed, more power and I am the better athlete,” Bradley said. “Vargas knows in his heart I am going to bring it. In the ring I will tell Vargas, ‘this in my time, not yours.’”

Bradley’s relentlessness and determination to win every single round is what makes him a special fighter to watch. Bradley has a wealth of big-fight experience. Aside from the Pacquiao fights, perhaps his most impressive victory was when he traveled to England to defeat Junior Whiter for the WBC junior welterweight championship seven years ago.

Bradley followed pursuit with a victory against WBO 140-pound champion Kendall Holt to unify the junior welterweight titles. Bradley handed Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, and Juan Carlos Abregu their first professional defeats in three consecutive fights. Bradley also stopped Joel Casamayor, in addition to beating Devon Alexander up for 10 rounds until Devon could no longer see.

Bradley has carved an impressive and well-polished career for himself.

Bradley-Vargas should be a very interesting fight. Vargas hasn’t recorded a stoppage victory in his last 10 fights and Bradley isn’t recognized for having punching power. So the fight will be determined by who is the better boxer, the better technician. Bradley, who is use to fighting power-punchers like Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Ruslan Provodnikov in recent fights, will be tempted to fight more aggressively against the less experienced Vargas. Bradley is also a risk-taker, as he has come off the canvas in fights against Provodnikov and Kendall Holt. Bradley is resistant, but he has also telegraphs his punches, leaves himself wide-open to counter shots, and is getting hit a lot more.

Vargas will have his opportunities to use his hand-speed and good footwork to keep Bradley off-balanced, but expect Bradley’s resistance and experience to be the difference in this contest.

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