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Vargas-Rios added to Cotto-Kamegai card

Rey Vargas will take on Ronny Rios as the co-feature to Cotto-Kamegai.

Boxing at Hull Arena Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

The August 26th HBO card headlined by Miguel Cotto vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai has just been bolstered by a co-feature fight where Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) will defend his WBC title against Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) at California’s StubHub Center, according to ESPN.

Simultaneous with Golden Boy’s announcement of the co-feature fight, the company also announced that they have signed Vargas to a multi-year promotional contract. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Vargas, a 26-year-old junior featherweight, is most recently coming off a majority decision win over Gavin McDonnell in February — his biggest and most notable win to date. Vargas, as you might expect, says he’s excited for the opportunity...

"I am thrilled to defend my world championship for the first time on such a special night at StubHub Center," Vargas said. "I know Ronny Rios is an extremely tough challenger, but he has never tasted power like mine, and I am confident I will come away with the victory."

Rios, the 27-year-old challenger, was a hot prospect when he turned professional back in 2008. He seemed to be nearing his first shot at a world title before he was abruptly stopped by Robinson Castellanos in late 2014. He’s since won five straight fights, with the last three coming by stoppage. He’ll be looking to finally cash-in on this fight.

"This is a dream come true for any boxer. Now that it's here, I'm ready to capitalize on the journey me and my coach have been on for several years," Rios said. "Vargas will provide us with a tough game plan but I've been working my whole life for this opportunity. He has good power and a very good coach with (Hall of Famer) Nacho (Beristain), but I have a great team as well. I am thankful that GBP has gotten this fight for me - and I expect a tough, tough war from Rey."

This HBO “World Championship Boxing” telecast will be going head-to-head with a much bigger event on that same night — Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. That being the case, it’s at least a little surprising that Golden Boy and HBO haven’t decided to reschedule this card for another time, especially considering the the likelihood of it being completely overshadowed.

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