It’s an exciting Friday for fans who like their weigh-ins mixed with pushing, shoving, and wild punches. Jose Zepeda and Josue Vargas hit the scales earlier today in advance of their ESPN+ main event on Saturday, and things got scrappy, slappy, and chaotic.
Check out the video for yourselves, and we’ll do a breakdown after:
The shenanigans begin after Zepeda (34-2, 26 KO) and Vargas (19-1, 9 KO) made weight, as announcer Mark Shunock repeats fighter introductions in advance of a final face-off.
Vargas seems lost on his stage direction, posing, stepping off for a staredown, then stepping back in and upstaging Zepeda well into and through Zepeda’s announced introduction.
Zepeda waits a few beats, takes a few furtive glances to see if Vargas intends to move, then decides to step up and pose alongside Vargas instead. Zepeda raises his arms up and under Vargas, who gets slightly bumped and hooked arm-in-arm and is NOT HAPPY about the non-consensual do-si-do.
Vargas slams his arm down violently over the top of Zepeda’s, and the men exchange some scowls and growls. Someone from Team Zepeda determines that the professional fighter he works for is not the right man to handle this heated confrontation, and instead rushes in to shove Vargas away.
Not to be outdone, someone from Team Vargas pops in with some arm waving movement that could be interpreted in the heat of the moment as an attempt at a punch. Zepeda responds with a half speed looping lead right hand directed somewhere between Vargas and his Team Vargas associate, and Vargas throws a probing left jab of his own in response.
We will digress briefly to note that whoever the suited gentleman is that’s trying to stay between and keep the fighters separated, he is showing terrible mask discipline. You’re not wearing a mask there, sir. It’s an elastic chin scarf, and you’re not protecting yourself or anyone from the spread of disease.
Back to the play-by-play: The fighters are pulled apart, and the patient zero Team Zepeda and Team Vargas instigators do some arm waving and spastic kicking at each other as their coat-mates and brothers-in-waving-arms start to fill the stage. Someone is holding Vargas by the left arm, so his attempt to move towards Zepeda’s side of the stage is thwarted, and Vargas looks like a potential extra in the Michael Jackson “Beat It” music video that got rejected for too-silly movements.
Into the mix, center stage, jumps a woman in a white or tan hoodie jacket, holding what seems to be a promotional canvas tote bag. She seems to be an undercover, or at least branded coat-less Team Vargas operative. She scolds the Zepeda side of the stage, does some sort of slapping high-five hand gesture that would come across worse than a middle finger gesture in many cultures, then gently backpedals towards the Vargas side of the stage.
“Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Settle down!” Mark Shunock finally insists in a bemused, slightly bored tone of voice. Instead, chins are jutted out aggressively, curtained backdrops get tugged on, and bodies continue to fill the stage. Someone on Team Vargas yells and gestures wildly, but only with one arm, as the other appears to be holding a phone that’s presumably rolling video on the scene.
In less than a minute and ten seconds, the scene ends.
What have we learned? Well, perhaps this is just more evidence for the Passionate Boxing Rivalry™ between Mexico and Puerto Rico. Perhaps Josue Vargas had some traumatic childhood experience playing Red Rover, and we saw that lingering psychological damage leak out very publicly today.
I suspect these guys are probably going to throw a lot more punches at each other tomorrow night. That’s the sort of analysis you all come here for, even if it happens to be too intense for a formal company prediction.
- Current Odds at DraftKings: Zepeda +110, Vargas -130