It may seem that Jessie Vargas has been around forever, but the truth is he is just 23 years old. Undefeated with a 21-0 record, he has made his way from Mayweather Promotions over to Top Rank and is hoping to add his name to the list of the top fighters in the sport.
He was thinking that perhaps he was going to get his opportunity to prove himself when his name was floated around as a potential opponent for either Juan Manuel Marquez or Manny Pacquiao in their next fights. It would have been a huge step up in competition level for him, however, and many people believe he’s not ready for that step up quite yet.
Instead, he has been given Wale Omotoso (23-0 19 KO’s) to fight next. Like Jessie Vargas, Wale Omotoso is also undefeated, and as is evident by his knockout percentage, he packs a powerful punch. A win here and Vargas should finally get his wish and land a top notch opponent for his next fight. As of now, it appears he has been protected by his matchmakers, and it’s time Jessie be allowed to test the waters and see where he stands among his peers.
When speaking with ProBoxingInsider.com, Jessie commented on the level of fighter he considered Wale Omotoso to be.
“I’m looking at him as another fighter on my list. But I guess if you look at it on paper, he’s better than some of the fighters in my past. But then I’ve been in against ex-world champions.”
Vivian Harris and Steve Forbes were indeed world champions, but both were clearly on the back end of their careers when they went down to Vargas. In Omotoso, Vargas will come face to face with an opponent who, like him, believes he is a champion in the making. Vargas, to his credit, recognizes this and is not letting his disappointment over not getting a mega fight impact his preparations for this fight. He knows that a big win here and his opportunity may be just around the corner.
When asked if he was disappointed to be fighting Omotoso instead of Juan Manuel Marquez or Manny Pacquiao, Vargas said, “Not at all. Of course I would have loved the opportunity, but there’s a reason things don’t happen. I just like to believe there’s a reason that fight with Marquez or Pacquiao didn’t happen. Who knows, maybe I will get one or two more fights and then get the opportunity.”
Time will tell if Vargas gets his dream fight. Meanwhile, he needs to be focused on the task at hand. Should he come up short here, it’s unlikely he will ever get the opportunity to test himself against either of the legends he hopes to face off against. Fortunately for Vargas, he seems to perform at his best when more eyes are focused on him, and in this situation, you can be certain many will be. Is Jessie Vargas a potential threat for Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, or is Wale Omotoso the real undefeated fighter to be watched? We will find out on March 16.