When Tim Bradley faces off with Jessie Vargas on June 27th, the only thing on his mind will be getting his hands on that belt once again. The WBO welterweight title was effectively vacated after Mayweather won it from Pacquiao earlier this month, but declined to accept it saying it was time to give other fighters a chance. The WBO ultimately decided that Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas will get the opportunity to fight for their now vacant 147lb title.
"I have a golden opportunity to get back on top and win my WBO title belt back on June 27," Bradley said on Monday at a news conference in Los Angeles. "I'm excited to be back in the ring with an undefeated champion. I look forward to the challenge and to take his ‘0' away from him on June 27th.
Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs) is 0-1-1 in his last two fights, losing a clear decision to Manny Pacquiao in their rematch (which was more of a fight to correct a previous wrong) and drew against Diego Chaves in a fight that a number of people felt he deserved to win. Now he has Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs) in front of him, an undefeated technician who has all the confidence in the world. But even that puts no fear into Bradley's heart.
"I am taking on a fighter who is undefeated and a world champion. So I am going back to my roots in my training which got me on top," Bradley said. "If I fight smart and use my quickness I will be fine."
"I want to put down Vargas, get him down on the canvas. I want to stop him."
Stopping people really isn't Bradley's forte, but he has shown the willingness willing to go to war on a moments notice. And for Jessie Vargas, this is the big fight he's been looking towards for some time now.
"I always wanted to fight Bradley. He always got the big fights, something I always wanted," said Vargas, a Los Angeles native living in Las Vegas. "In the ring I need to outsmart him, be more intelligent, show him who is the boss. I need a convincing win over Bradley to get the respect I deserve."
Vargas is currently being trained by Roy Jones who says that he's not looking for Vargas to engage Bradley in a war, and is trying to instill to Jessie that he needs to focus on boxing. Roy feels that Bradley has a lot of wear and tear on him and that his brutal battle with Provodnikov took something out of him. Because of this reason, they want to use movement to wear on Bradley before Vargas goes in for the kill.
But this begs the question, does Bradley look shopworn to any of you? How many of you are favoring Vargas to pull this one off?