Former four-weight world champion Mikey Garcia (39-1-0, 30 Ko’s), comes back from his unanimous points defeat to IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr last march when he faces another former world titlist in Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 29 Ko’s), the former two-division champ from Las Vegas, Nevada.
The pair meet at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on Saturday 29th February on a Matchroom Boxing card which will be streamed live on the DAZN app in the USA and shown on Sky Sports in the UK.
Mikey Garcia is a major signing for DAZN who are working with the popular Californian on a fight by fight deal. There is an option for further fights which suggests that Mikey isn’t currently too bothered about facing the likes of Spence, Pacquiao, Thurman, Porter, Danny Garcia and others on the PBC platform.
Garcia vs Vargas might not immediately grab the attention of hardened boxing fans as a major event, but when you take a deeper look at the fight, it might be a much tougher assignment for the talented but smaller Garcia than you first think.
Although it would be controversial to compare Jessie Vargas’s ability to that of Errol Spence, he is a worthy two-weight world champion who has only lost to Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, both on points in action-packed fights. Simply put, Vargas can hang with the very best, and considering that most experts came to the conclusion that Spence was simply too big for Garcia, facing a big welterweight such as Vargas puts him back in the same scenario.
It is hard to work out why the 32-year-old Garcia insists on plying his trade at 147lbs when there are big fights for him in his natural 140lb super-lightweight class. Garcia in title fights against Jose Ramirez or Josh Taylor would both be huge PPV events that he would be favoured to win. Other 140lb fights without a title such as Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker would also be attractions, but perhaps it is that so far elusive fifth weight-division belt that he feels will round up his career legacy before he hangs up his gloves for good.
A win over the smaller Garcia would give the 30-year-old Vargas the biggest name on his career resume so far. He has beaten quality opposition such as Sadam Ali, Antonio De Marco, Wale Omotoso, Josesito Lopez, and Vivian Harris, but as stated failed against the two elite names he faced in Pacquiao and Bradley.
Vargas was unlucky to be given a draw against the talented Thomas Dulorme in a fight he looked to have won.
Vargas will hold the same physical advantages over Garcia that Spence did, standing at 5’ 11” against Mikey’s 5’ 6”, and having the naturally bigger frame. Jessie is never shy to let his hands go so it is bound to be action-packed, but I do expect Mikey to use the slick skills he has honed in winning and defending those 4 weight division titles against the likes of Orlando Salido, Roman Martinez, Dejan Zlaticanin, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipnets, and Robert Easter Jr.
This is going to be another hard fight for Garcia, but I have to trust that he knows he has the edge in skills that can negate the physical attributes Vargas will bring to the ring. They are good friends outside the ring and I expect they have sparred one-another on plenty of occasions.
Prediction: Mikey Garcia to win a points decision in a tough bout.