Mikey Garcia vs Jessie Vargas Preview Feb. 29th
Former world champion Mikey Garcia of Ventura, California will be returning to the ring this Saturday, February 29th when he meets another former world champ in Jessie Vargas of Las Vegas. The 12-round welterweight bout will be held in Frisco, Texas and can be seen in North America on DAZN. Fans in the UK can catch the bout on Sky Sports Action. Garcia last fought in March when he dropped a unanimous decision to Errol Spence in a shot at the IBF, and vacant WBC Diamond Welterweight Titles. Vargas last fought in April when he stopped Humberto Soto in the sixth round.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Garcia vs Vargas Betting Odds
- Jessie Vargas +400
- Mikey Garcia -550
The 32-year-old Garcia has been a World Featherweight, Super Featherweight and Super Lightweight Champion who will be fighting as a welterweight for just the second time. He owned a perfect record until meeting Spence last year and is now 38-1 and 30 Kos. He has a 68-inch reach and stands 5-feet-6-inches tall so is quite small for the 147 lb division Garcia was inactive for most of 2014 and 2015 due to promotional issues but has been relatively active since.
Garcia also has better than average power with a current knockout ratio of 75 per cent but five of his last seven bouts have gone the distance including his last four. He’s a quick, solid boxer with no apparent weaknesses and has fought 226 rounds since turning pro back in 2006. There isn’t really a weak side to Garcia’s game as his speed, power and boxing skills have simply been too much for all of his opponents other than Spence so far. He’s basically the total package and it’s too bad he missed so much time away from the sport.
Garcia has some impressive wins against quality opponents such as Robert Easter, Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Rafael Guzman, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Barros and Mauricio Pastrana. Garcia’s still young enough to be in his prime, but may not be as well known to the average boxing fan as he should be. He’s simply one of the best out there pound for pound and is now heading and has won four world titles in different weight divisions. After enjoying a fine amateur career.
The 30-year-old Vargas is a former two-division world champion in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions. He enters the bout with a mark of 29-2-2 with 11 Kos. He also has some excellent boxing skills but isn’t known as a big puncher even though his power seems to be improving with each outing. His current knockout stands at just 33.3 per cent and he’s gone the distance in four of his last five fights. Vargas has also shown a pretty solid chin but has been down on the canvas a couple of times in the past, most notably to Manny Pacquiao.
Vargas stopped Sadam Ali in the ninth round to win the vacant WBO Welterweight Title in March, 2016, but dropped a unanimous decision to Pacquiao eight months later. His other defeat came at the hands of Timothy Bradley by a controversial 12-round unanimous decision in June, 2015. Vargas struggled early but staggered Bradley in the 12th round and appeared to have him out on his feet. However, the referee made a crucial mistake by halting the fight with about seven seconds to go as he thought he heard the final bell.
Vargas earlier won the WBA Junior Welterweight Crown in April, 2014 against Khabib Allakhverdiev and defended it against Antonio DeMarco and Anton Novikov before meeting Bradley. He’s a talented boxer/puncher with exceptional skills, but as mentioned earlier, lacks a big punch. Vargas likes to establish his jab to set up short, quick flurries to both the head and body. His other notable wins have been against Steve Forbes, Josesito Lopez, Walter Estrada and Vivian Harris. His two draws came consecutively over 12 rounds with Adrien Broner in April, 2018 and Thomas Dulorme six months later.
As far as size goes, Vargas stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with a wingspan of 71 inches which means he’s five inches taller than Garcia with a three-inch edge in reach. He turned pro back in 2008 after a fine amateur career which saw him go 120-20 and he has fought 241 rounds since. Vargas previously held the WBC Continental Americas Welterweight title and has gone 4-1 in world championship fights with a knockout. He’s also gone 5-2-1 against former or current world champions with a pair of stoppages under his belt.
This is a good matchup skill-wise as they’re both great boxers. Garcia has the edge in power and skill but he’ may simply be just too small as a welterweight. Vargas has underrated power but isn’t likely strong enough to Garcia so this could come down to pure boxing skills. But it also has the potential to be an exciting brawl. Both have plenty of experience against world-class opposition and I can see this fight going either way including a draw. If it went on pure boxing skills I’d give Garcia the edge but Vargas’ attitude and size may be too much.
A tossup with Garcia having a slight edge.
Play: Garcia -550 @ BetOnline.ag
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