Eddie Hearn has been trying to pit Liam Smith against Jessie Vargas for a few years now, but it looks like the latest attempt may actually come to fruition. Dan Rafael reports that a deal is in the works for the pair to fight in Las Vegas this coming January.
Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KO) hasn’t fought since March of last year, when he lost a highly competitive unanimous decision to Mikey Garcia. The 32-year-old presently sits at 2-2-2 in his last six, wins over Aaron Herrera and an ancient Humberto Soto offset by losses to Garcia and Manny Pacquiao alongside consecutive draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme.
He’s long talked about moving to 154 pounds after claiming titles at 140 and 147, and he’ll be jumping right into the deep end against Smith (30-3-1, 17 KO). “Beefy” has scored four knockouts in five fights since falling to Jaime Munguia, recently bouncing back from a highly questionable loss to Magomed Kurbanov by stopping Anthony Fowler last month.
Despite being within spitting distance of a WBO title shot, Smith made clear that he wanted a crack at Vargas, and he may end up getting his wish.