According to ESPN, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was approached by WBC super bantamweight titleholder Rey Vargas at last night’s post-fight presser in Las Vegas, with Vargas indicating his desire to unify titles with WBO titleholder Emanuel Navarrete, who wiped out another overmatched opponent last night on the Fury-Wallin card.
Vargas (34-0, 22 KO) has held the WBC title since Feb. 2017, when he went to England and beat Gavin McDonnell by majority decision. He’s made five successful defenses in the United States since then, fighting on Golden Boy cards, most recently beating mandatory challenger Tomoki Kameda on July 13 via decision.
Vargas, 28, is regarded by most as the No. 1 fighter in the world at the weight, but his opposition hasn’t exactly been amazing, and his performances more clinical than thrilling. That means that while Vargas is a headliner for Golden Boy, he hasn’t been able to really move the needle, eitehr.
A fight with Navarrete (29-1, 25 KO) might be able to change that. The 24-year-old “Vaquero” leapt onto the world stage last December, routing Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO belt in New York. He destroyed Dogboe in a May rematch, and has defended his belt easily twice in the last month, smashing Francisco De Vaca on Aug. 17 and Juan Miguel Elorde on Saturday night.
If a deal can be made, it’s a hell of a good fight. Navarrete is making his own case as the top 122-pounder in boxing, and he’s got the flash that Vargas lacks, but Vargas is experienced, skilled, and a giant of a super bantamweight at 5’10”. Top Rank and Golden Boy have worked together recently, and this is a big fight for both their guys, so the only sticking point might be whether the fight would run on DAZN or an ESPN network, but whomever wants it most should, in theory, be able to make the right deal for everyone.