This Saturday unbeaten Sadam Ali (22-0, 13KOs) of New York and former world champion Jessie Vargas(26-1, 9KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada will square off at the DC Armory in Washington D.C. The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds with the vacant WBO 140 pound title will be at stake. The title became available when champion Timothy Bradley opted to vacate understandably for a more lucrative third bout with Manny Pacquiao. The Ali-Vargas bout will be aired live on HBO as the co-feature to the main event pitting Luis Ortiz vs. Tony Thompson.
Ali was a former U.S. Olympian and entered the professional ranks highly touted. While others from his Olympic class were moving at a faster pace Ali’s team were taking their time. He was steadily moving along in his career but he really didn’t have a signature name on his resume until he fought former world title challenger Carlos Abreu. This was a significant step up for Ali and he rose to the occasion but becoming on the second to beat Abreu and the first to stop him.
Vargas will be the best that Ali has fought for sure. This will not be the case for Vargas who has fought very solid competition. This includes his last fight where he dropped his first career loss to former world champion Timothy Bradley. Vargas was well behind on the scorecards when he hurt Bradley in the final seconds of the 12 round. There was some confusion at the end of the round on the final bell but it appeared Bradley would have gotten through the round none the less. The Vargas side was not happy and Bradely went on to win a deserved unanimous decision.
Vargas now has a chance to fight for that very same belt versus Ali. He was very adamant to get a rematch with Bradley but should now put all his attention on Ali. This will be the first fight for both fighters in 2016 and it may take them a few rounds to shake off a little ring rust. It’s an intriguing matchup as both guys appear to be in their physical prime. A distance fight is not an automatic as both guys have flashed decent power in their best fights. All doubts should be cleared up to Saturday as to which guy moves forward into the deep welterweight mix.