There is not doubt most of this month’s focus in the boxing world is on the highly anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. There is another card this month which could easily steal the shine. A welterweight showdown between Mikey Garcia (39-1) and Jessie Vargas is set for Saturday February 29, 2019. The two are set to battle in Frisco, Texas along with two other title fights. Recently, the WBC announced Garcia and Vargas will compete for the WBC diamond belt.
Two of the Best in a Crowded Division
Garcia vs Vargas
Garcia, a former champion in four weight divisions, returns to the ring for the very first time following a loss. In March 2019 Garcia dropped the IBF welterweight title to Errol Spence Jr. Garcia looks to add another belt to his collection on the DAZN when he battles for a diamond belt. The WBC voted unanimously for this bout to be contested for this prestigious trophy. The diamond belt is contested for when the WBC feels both fighters are of a particular caliber. The bout needs to receive enough votes from members as well. Both Garcia and Vargas are also apart of the WBC Cares program as world ambassadors. Back to the boxing, 30 of Garcia’s 39 victories are via knockout which should have fans on the edge of their seat. As he’s gone up in weight though, those knockouts have been harder and harder to come up with.
Vargas (33-2)has knockout potential in his gloves as well with 11 of his victories coming by KO/TKO. The former two weight division champion 2-0-2 since dropping a unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao in November 2016. Most recently, Vargas is coming off of a sixth round knockout of Humberto Soto in April 2019. A victory over a huge name like Garcia would put Vargas in line for a title shot. Vargas will have nearly a six inch reach advantage on Garcia, similar to the advantage he had on Soto. Vargas will look to pace with the jab early then work his way in to try and land his big shots. A win over Garcia will earn Vargas the diamond belt, but will also earn him a spot along the bigger names in the absolutely stacked division.
Super Flyweights Clash
Britian’s longest reigning champion ever, Kal Yafai (26-0) will make the sixth defense of his WBA super flyweight title which he has held since 2016. Yafai is still perfect as a professional with 15 of those victories coming by KO/TKO. The former Olympian is facing a man he has considered an idol in Roman Gonzalez (48-2.) Promoter Eddie Hearn was quoted as calling this a brilliant fight on a monster card.
Gonzalez is an absolute monster of a striker for this division with 40 of his 48 professional wins coming by finish. Gonzalez is a four weight champion and the first boxer in history to win a world championship in the four smallest weight classes. From September 2015 to March 2017, Gonzalez was ranked as Ring Magazine’s pound for pound king. This is a pretty quick turnaround for Gonzalez coming off of a second round knockout in December 2019 to close out a 2019 with his only bout of that year. Gonzalez looks posed and ready to pressure the undefeated Yafai in what could be the fight of the card.
Huge Flyweight Title Bout
25 year old WBC world flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1-1) will make his first title defense against Jay Harris (17-0) in back to back fights in America for Martinez. Martinez looked to have initially won the WBC title in August 2019 when he knocked out Charlie Edwards in the third round but it was later ruled a “no contest” after it was discovered Martinez hit Edwards while he was on his knee. The inevitable could not be pushed off long when Martinez returned to the cage in December 2019. On this night he finished Cristofer Rosales in the ninth round. With 12 of his 15 victories via KO/TKO, this could be another bout on this card with an exciting finish.
Harris had a hot 2019 where he went 3-0. His most notably a fourth round KO of Ireland’s Paddy Barnes in October at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Harris, currently undefeated, has a chance to add a major world title to his current collection. A knockout over Barnes is no easy task and sets this bout of for a bout of two knockout kings.