By Dan Ambrose: Jessie Vargas states that he’s in negotiations to challenge WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia on DAZN in September. This is a match that Vargas has been talking about for a while now, and it looks his his promoters at Matchroom Boxing USA are going to make it happen. Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs) will enjoy a big size advantage over the 5’11” Vargas.
This will be a tough fight for the former two division world champion Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs), because he’s only fought once at junior middleweight. That was a catch-weight match against 39-year-old former two division world champion Humberto Soto last April.
Vargas lacks experience at 154
It was an interesting match-up. Vargas’ promoters selected an older former 135 pound fighter in Soto for him to fight at junior middleweight instead of a top contender from that weight division. Vargas won, but it looked like an unfair fight given the huge age and size difference between him and Soto. There are a lot of top contenders in the WBO’s rankings at 154 that have been waiting for a world title shot against Munguia.
Jessie Vargas hasn’t earned a title shot
Vargas, 30, has won win in his last three fights since 2017. Further, he’s not ranked in the top 15 are 154. In Vargas’ last seven fights, his record is 3-2-2. That’s poor for a potential world title challenge. Vargas lost to Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. He has controversial draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme in 2018 in fights that many Boxing fans felt that Vargas should have lost.
Vargas didn’t look great against the much smaller and older Soto (69-10-2, 37 KOs). It wasn’t until Vargas started to impose his size against Soto that he was able to pull away and score a stoppage. Soto had spent most of his career at super featherweight.
It’s unclear why Vargas’ promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA chose to match him against Soto for a fight at junior middleweight, because he hadn’t spent his career in that weight class. Vargas vs. Soto was similar to Amir Khan’s recent fight against former IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib. In that match, Khan picked out a smaller guy in Dib, and destroyed him.
Jaime Munguia coming off controversial win over Dennis Hogan
It’s not an ideal time for Munguia to defend his WBO title against Vargas, because his last fight WBO mandatory Dennis Hogan was a controversial win. Munguia, 22, beat Hogan by a 12 round majority decision last April in Monterrey, Mexico. Many Boxing fans felt that Jaime was given a gift decision. Hogan’s team wants a rematch, and it would be a bad look on Munguia’s part to go in another direction.
Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs) was recently mentioned as a potential opponent for former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin for September 14. That would be a far more interesting fight for fans than a fight between Munguia and the struggling Vargas.