Francisco Vargas vs Stephen Smith Preview Dec. 9th
Former WBC Super Featherweight Champion Francisco Vargas of Mexico will be taking on Stephen Smith of Liverpool, England at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this Saturday, December 9th. The 10-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO while fans in the UK can catch the action on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event. Vargas last fought in January when he was stopped by Miguel Berchelt in the 11th round to lose his title. Smith’s last outing was in June when he stopped Kelly Gallovich in the sixth round.
Vargas vs Smith Betting Odds
Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook 5dimes.eu
- Stephen Smith +235
- Francisco Vargas -275
The 32-year-old Vargas enters the ring with a fine record of 23-1-2 along with 17 Kos. His 20-fight winning streak was snapped last summer when he drew with Orlando Salido and he was then beaten by Berchelt, so he’s looking to get his career back on track with a win here. Vargas stands 5-feet-8-inches tall and has a 70-inch reach. He’s well known to boxing fans for his classic slugfests against Berchelt and Salido as well as Takashi Miura of Japan in 2015.
Vargas is a former Olympian who fought in the 2008 Games in Beijing, China and turned pro in 2010. He’s gone 125 rounds since then and has a knockout ratio of 65 per cent. His other draw was a four-round affair against Byron Gonzalez in 2010 in his fourth pro outing. Vargas is comfortable using his boxing skills or going toe-to-toe and he’s pretty effective no matter what style he chooses to use. He stopped Juan Manuel Lopez in the third round in 2014 and has beaten Jerry Belmontes, Will Tomlinson and Abner Cotto.
It looks like the Miura and Salido fights sapped some energy out of Vargas when he fought Berchelt, but it was a close, competitive fight until he was stopped. Vargas has an exciting style and has a solid chin even though he was stopped by Berchelt. He’s been out of the ring since January, so has had time to recharge his batteries and he’ll need an impressive outing against Smith to earn another shot at a world title.
The 32-year-old Smith will enter the fight with a record of 25-3 along with 15 Kos. He’s just over 5-feet-6-inches tall with a reach of 66 inches, so he gives up about two inches in height to Vargas as well as four inches in reach. Smith turned pro back in 2008 and has 155 rounds of experience under his belt since then. He’s been stopped once by Lee Selby in the eighth round of their meeting in 2011. His other losses came to Jose Pedraza by 12-round unanimous decision in April, 2016 and to Jason Sosa by 12-round unanimous decision last December.
Smith also needs to get his career back on track since he’s lost two of his last four contests. He’s not known as a big hitter as his current knockout ratio is 54 per cent. All three of his losses came when he stepped up in class and he’ll be doing so again this Saturday night. In fact, he hasn’t really beaten anybody of note up to now. He’s had a fine amateur career and has won several pro titles as he’s a former British and Commonwealth Champion. He’s also the brother of Paul, Liam and Callum Smith.
I think Vargas is in a different class than Smith at the moment even though the Englishman did perform relatively well against Jason Sosa. Vargas should be too fast and strong for Smith unless he’s shot after his fights against Miura, Salido and Berchelt. Vargas is aggressive and relentless in the ring and I believe there’s a good chance he’ll win this fight by stoppage.
Vargas should prove to be too good for Smith.
Play Vargas -275 @ 5dimes.eu
Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.