Earlier this week, the WBC confirmed that the fight between Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas will be for the WBC Diamond title in the welterweight division on Saturday February 29th at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The World Boxing Council Board of Governors unanimously voted in favor to approve the WBC Diamond belt to be awarded to the winner celebrating this sensational fight between these great fighters.
Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) and Vargas (29-2-2 11 KOs) are multi-division world champions and would like to be able to acquire this belt with a victory on Saturday. Garcia has won titles in four weight divisions, and has held the WBC Diamond title in the super lightweight division with a win over Adrien Broner. He has attempted to win this title before but lost by decision to Errol Spence. Garcia wants to get that loss behind him on Saturday night.
“I think that there’s a lot more that I can do at 147lbs,” said Garcia. “The Spence fight was not a representation of that, it wasn’t my night and not the fight that I wanted to fight, I just couldn’t perform and once in a while you have an off night and it happened to be that night for me. I need to show my fans and the boxing world that I can do a lot more, even at 147lbs.”
If Garcia wins this title it will be the fifth division that he will have captured a world title in. He is looking forward to that opportunity and is aware that fans want to know if he will continue his career at welterweight or go back down to super lightweight.
“A World title in a fifth division is very exciting. I would love to fight for a title again at 147lbs, claiming a World title in a fifth division would be amazing and that’s why I am staying at 147, but there are other motivations for me in the sport, I’m not done, there’s a lot more to accomplish. After this fight I’ll look at options at 147lbs and 140lbs, I’m not stuck at either weight, I’m keeping my options open.”
Vargas had success in the super lightweight division, becoming a world champion in 2014 before suffering his first loss while moving up to welterweight. He was able to capture a world title at 147 after that loss, but then relinquished it in his first defense against Manny Pacquiao. After close fights with Thomas Dulorme and Adrien Broner that resulted in draws, Vargas is now in a position to win a title against one of the most complete fighters in Garcia. However, Vargas is confident that he is in top shape and can score the win.
“I definitely feel that I am in my prime now,” said Vargas. “I feel good, solid, very experienced. I’ve gained plenty of knowledge throughout the years, and I think that I am in the best time in my career because of all that experience.”
He knows about the pedigree of Garcia and that it will make for a great matchup at the Ford Center for the WBC Diamond belt.
“We are giving the fans what they want to see. Mikey is a terrific fighter and we are going to give the fans a great fight, it has all the ingredients to be like a Barerra-Morales style trilogy, you never know because we are two fighters that are will to do anything to come out with the victory.”
This has the setup to be one action packed fight and the winner will be put in a position to contend for a top spot in the welterweight division. It will be up to them to determine what they would need to do to have their hand raised and then lay claim to a belt at 147 then challenge the other top contenders.
Cover photo by Ed Mulholland of Matchroom Boxing USA